French Open: Djokovic using past failures as incentive for Roland Garros glory

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Novak Djokovic says previous failures at the French Open add "more significance" to his quest for Roland Garros glory.

Djokovic has not dropped a set in each of his last nine matches, dating back to his Internazionali d'Italia win, after cruising to a 6-1 6-3 6-3 victory over Diego Schwartzman on Sunday.

The world number one has reached a record 16 quarter-finals at the Paris major, while only Roger Federer (58) has reached the last eight at grand slams more times than Djokovic (51).

But Djokovic has not always enjoyed success in the French capital, losing three finals against Rafael Nadal (twice in 2012 and 2014) and Stan Wawrinka in 2015 before defeating Andy Murray the next year.

The Serbian added a second French Open crown to his trophy haul in 2021 by edging out Stefanos Tsitsipas.

As Djokovic looks to defend his title, the 35-year-old explained he has an added incentive given his previous struggles in the tournament.

"It took me years and years to win the title here," he told reporters. "Of course I had some big heartbreaks on the court here, many finals lost and semi-finals, thrilling marathon matches, mostly against Rafa prior to 2016.

"It was very special, very emotional to clinch that title in 2016. It was a huge relief more than anything.

"So in the years to come, I was still continuing to play consistently well here then luckily got another title last year, somehow winning a title here is always probably the hardest of any slam for me.

"Last year the second week that I had here was just probably the toughest four matches, toughest seven days I had to win any slam in my career. So it gives it a little bit more of a significance, so to say."

Djokovic also suggested he is having to make adjustments based on the scheduling times, with top seeds either playing in the early afternoon or in the evening session, which can go later into the night.

"As top players, we do have requests, but those requests are not always accepted," he added. "The tournament director, along with TV, broadcasters, I think at the end of the day that's who decides.

"TV, whether they want your match, day or night, you just have to adjust to that. Obviously, depending on who you play, sometimes it's favourable to play night, sometimes day.

"There is no standard or no formula that works always. Even though I historically played very well and won a lot of matches under the lights on different slams, particularly in Australia."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting