Djokovic ready to rebound from Paris heartache
Date published :
24 Jun 2012 - 13:47:58
Novak Djokovic insists there will be no hangover from his painful French Open final defeat against Rafael Nadal as the world number one prepares to defend his Wimbledon title.
Djokovic has arrived at the All England Club in good spirits despite suffering his first grand slam final loss since 2010 as Nadal ended the Serb's bid to hold all four majors at the same time.
The 25-year-old had beaten Nadal in the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open finals over the last 12 months, but he couldn't continue that remarkable sequence at Roland Garros earlier this month.
Although Djokovic concedes it was a shock to the system to walk off court a beaten man in Paris, he is too much of a competitor to dwell on the negatives for long and he is already firmly focused on another successful run at Wimbledon.
"It's behind me now," Djokovic said. "I was so close and there was a slight disappointment after the match because I was aware of the chance that I had in Roland Garros.
"But the day after I felt good about my tournament because it was the first time I ever have been in the final there. That's something that made me satisfied.
"You know, I'm still only 25, so I believe that I have a lot more years and a lot more chances to win Roland Garros."
After dominating Nadal throughout 2011 and then beating the Spaniard in an epic Australian Open final at the start of this year, Djokovic has suddenly found it harder to impose himself on the world number two.
As well as losing in Paris against Nadal, he was also beaten by the left-hander in Monte Carlo and Rome.
Yet the Serb claims his rivalry with Nadal, and also Roger Federer, has played such a key role in his own improvement over the last few years that he will always relish testing himself against the best regardless of the result.
"Of course, playing against both of them made me a better player," he said.
"Just competing at this top level, I was going through a lot of emotions. I was going through the years of doubting if I could really win more Grand Slams and overcome the challenges of Nadal and Federer.
"I managed to do that. They made me work harder to be a better player and made me understand what I need to do on the court and off the court as well."
Djokovic's admiration for Nadal doesn't extend to agreeing with the Spaniard's views about the Madrid Masters however.
Nadal was unhappy tournament chiefs opted to play this year's event on blue clay rather than the traditional red.
ATP bosses have now decided to change back to red clay in Madrid, but Djokovic believes the complaints from Nadal and other players were unnecessary.
"There's a lot of talk about the blue clay. It's a very sensitive subject. The fact of the matter I think is that we had too many players complaining about it in Madrid," Djokovic said.
As a player who works predominantly from the baseline, Djokovic has always thrived on clay, but he has gradually managed to adapt to grass as well after initially disliking the faster surface.
Even so, he is convinced there should be longer than two weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon to give players time to adjust.
"My personal opinion, of course, is that this it is too short. We need an extra week because it would give especially the top players a little bit more time to get used to the surface," he said.
"The schedule is as it is and we all accept it, but we will try to find the better solution and work for the better of the sport."