Djokovic has ‘extra motivation’ to prosper in Paris


Novak Djokovic says the prospect of holding all four grand slam titles simultaneously has given him “extra motivation” to win the French Open.

The world number one has won three consecutive majors since losing to Marco Cecchinato in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last year.

Djokovic has only been crowned champion on the hallowed clay in Paris once in 2016 – when he completed the career Grand Slam and became the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four slams in succession – and Rafael Nadal is the favourite to triumph at the tournament for an astonishing 12th time.

Top seed Djokovic will face Hubert Hurkacz in the first round with a fierce determination to continue his major dominance and dethrone ‘King of Clay’ Nadal, who beat him in the Internazionali d’Italia final last week.

“This is the tournament that I was preparing for. For last couple of months, I wanted to peak in this tournament and this is where I want to play my best tennis,” said the Serbian.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one, but for me there is an extra motivation and incentive to win Roland Garros because of the opportunity to hold all four slams, something I did three years ago, and that gives me enough reason to believe I can do it again.

“I love playing in Roland Garros always throughout my career, and especially in the last four or five years I received a lot of support from the French crowd and also the international crowd that comes here.

“And I think because of that support, I also managed to win this title in 2016. Twelve months ago, the situation was quite different; obviously [I was] recovering from an elbow surgery, dropping out of the top 20, and everything that I had to face on the court only 12 months ago.

“Twelve months later I hold three slams and I am number one in the world. It’s quite a different feeling approaching the tournament with more confidence, and hopefully I can have a good two weeks.”

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