Novak Djokovic returns to the Rolex Paris Masters

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Novak Djokovic returns to the Rolex Paris Masters

“You are back in a tournament you won six times. How do you feel ?
I feel very good. Having success here in the past always helps, it gives you confidence. I won the last two times I was present (2019 and 2021), I hope I can continue this momentum. I really like the playing conditions here, even if they are different from last year. Cédric Pioline, the tournament director, told me that the courts were faster and that’s something I can confirm after a few practices. You have to get used to that and adjust. I like this tournament which has always been very successful for me.

During the Astana Open, you said you were a little rusty, lacking competition. Yet you have won the tournamentand the week before, that of Tel Aviv. Not bad when you’re rusty…
During the second part of the season, I felt different about the tournaments, much more positive. With all that had happened in Australia, I had felt emotionally disoriented off the court and that affected my game. I had to find my bearings and find the level of play I wanted to reach. During the clay court season, I was able to raise my level of play. And then Wimbledon came at the right time. This victory gave me enormous confidence. It was a relief considering everything that had happened before.

And after Wimbledon, I didn’t play much. There was the Laver Cup, Tel Aviv and Astana and I played really well. In general, when I look at my results indoors, I have a good run. I have to make sure I get the same results because I trained hard for it. I still have a few days before my first game. Coming back to a court where we had good results brings good feelings. At this level, it is important to have good feelings, to have good memories on the court. The mind is very important in tennis. You often fight against your own demons and if you win in your head, it can have an impact on what happens on the court.

“With everything that had happened in Australia, I felt emotionally disoriented off the court and it affected my game”

You mentioned the increased speed of the courts. For you, what is the best indoor solution?
I do not know. Often what players want and what tournaments want are two different things. Cédric Pioline told me that last year, many players complained about the slowness of the court. That’s why they increased it. I think that’s fair, they have the right to do that. Personally, I can’t tell you what the ideal speed is. And everyone will have a different opinion, everyone has their preferences.

Large servers will prefer a fast court. Those at the bottom will want it to be slower. I feel like all speeds have been tested here. It often changes depending on the local players. A tournament will often want to offer local players the conditions that suit them best in hopes of seeing them go far in the table. It has happened often in the past. But I don’t think there is a magic formula that works for everyone.

You have a positive record against all the top players on the circuit, what does that inspire you?
When I see this positive balance against the greatest players, it’s great! We’ve played in so many tournaments throughout our careers and having all those games lined up helps. We know best how to approach each challenge against the main rivals. I’ve done pretty well in my career and that’s positive. It was always my intention. »


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