“Top Spins right from the start” Novak Djokovic talks about the dangers Rafa poses on clay as he reminisces his 2014 win in Rome

Novak Djokovic reveals some insights from Rafa's play on the clay-courts as the Serb gears up for a sixth title hunt in Rome.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic faces the young Canadian star Felix Auger Aliassime in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open 2022. Djokovic lost the final in Rome in the 2021 edition to Rafael Nadal. After Nadal’s early exit, Djokovic will look to make the most of the opportunity. He will also want to set foot on the French clay with a tournament win, which would bolster Djokovic’s claim to defend his title at the Roland Garros.

Djokovic reminisces his Rome conquest of 2014 as he gears up for his sixth title run in this beautiful and historic city. He talks about how he had to keep on fighting in every match as he faced several marathons against many of the top clay-court specialists of the time, including David Ferrer, and some other tough matches, including the one with Philipp Kohlschreiber and Milos Raonic.

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An insight into Rafael Nadal as per Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal

Djokovic has faced Rafael Nadal repeatedly in his career, and their battles on the clay are largely one-sided, with Rafa leading the score by quite some margin. He also talked about how Rafa got extremely hot on the clay from the get-go. Djokovic entered the final battle after a hard week in Rome, and the upcoming challenge was a tough one.

Djokovic says:

“Just full top spins right from the start, it’s hard to deal with his ball, it takes a little bit of time to adapt to it adjust to them.” If you can weather the first storm, then you might have a chance to win it.”

“You know that you are going to have a lot of breaks, break of service particularly if you play Nadal. I wasn’t too concerned about that. Of course, you never want to lose your serve, but I liked my chances to come back and try to have a shot to win it which finally, in the end, happened”

Novak Djokovic will try to make it a sixth title in Rome, his first of 2022 as he would like to strike fear in the hearts of his opponents if he enters the Roland-Garros with a title win, not that the world number 1 needs anything like that, but it would still be a definitive sign that Djokovic is running on full throttle.

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