World number one, Novak Djokovic, says that, despite all his success over the last 18 months, the fact he is yet to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open still haunts him. The big Serb remains a popular option with fans placing tennis bets on the competition.
Djokovic has dominated men’s tennis for over a year, winning four of the last five Grand Slams, and firmly establishing himself as the world’s best player. However, despite his dominance he is still to beat the Spaniard at the French Open; the one Grand Slam he is yet to win.
The Serb has reached the semi-finals at the Roland Garros three times in his career, being defeated by Nadal in the last four in both 2007 and 2008. Despite beating Nadal in both Madrid and Rome, in 2011, the Spaniard appears to have regained his advantage on clay after winning 6-3 6-1 in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters, on Sunday.
The latest defeat has understandably hit the 24-year-old hard and he says that, despite all his success on other surfaces, he still feels he has something prove on clay.
“We’ve already played finals, but Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay”, Djokovic said. “He’s the king of clay. He’s the best tennis player ever to play on this surface, and one of the best tennis players ever, so that says enough.”
Despite still waiting for his first Paris title, Djokovic is confident of his chances, this time around. He says he enjoys the surface. His fine performances, last year, have given him a newfound confidence on the surface, and his optimism certainly has not let Sunday’s defeat dent his optimism.
“I do feel comfortable, I like to slide, and clay allows me to slide,” he added. “I had a great season on clay last year so I hope to continue this year.”