Djokovic: “It affects having Nadal on my side of the draw, he is my greatest rival of all time”


The Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic was satisfied with his performance in his victorious debut against the Frenchman Gael Monfils at the Mutua Madrid Open, a tournament whose part of his team is Rafa Nadal, something that “affects” him because the Spaniard is his ” greatest rival of all time.

“Of course it affects because he’s my biggest rival of all time. I wasn’t thinking about this, but we haven’t been on the same side of the draw for a long time because things are changing. We have young players and we’re both trying to do our best. us to compete for the top places in the world. I think we are still strong, so it’s good to see that,” Djokovic said at a press conference.

On the other hand, regarding his premiere at the Caja Mágica, he believes that “probably” it was his “best performance of the year”. “I felt really good on court and the interruption probably helped me a little more than him,” confessed the Belgrader.

For ‘Nole’, “the conditions of the training days in the last three days were different” from those of this match. “They were slower and obviously because of the rain the track was heavier and clayier,” he added.

“I played against one of the most athletic and fastest players we have in this game, Gael. I know his game very well and I know that I have to always be ready so that another ball always comes back from his side of the court and that you have to try constantly to have a controlled aggressiveness, so to speak, and dictate the point”, remarked the Serbian.

The world number one recognized “relief” when he achieved the first ‘break’, which allowed him to start playing “at a high level in general”. “I think he was moving me well, moving him and finding my serve in the last few service games as well,” he said.

“Overall, it was a very, very good performance. I’m very happy, considering, you know, to this day I wasn’t playing my best tennis in the few tournaments I’ve played this year and I’m still finding my rhythm.” .