Djokovic says he is ready to peak at French Open

motorsport08 May 2024 15:00
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Novak Djokovic © Gallo Images

World No 1 Novak Djokovic said he believes he will be in top form for the French Open and hopes to prove that at the Italian Open which started on Wednesday.

The Serbian told a press conference in Rome on Wednesday that his focus is on Paris, Wimbledon and the Olympic Games and he had strategic reasons for skipping the recent Madrid event.

"It was not part of the schedule. The plan was to come here. That's basically it," said Djokovic at a press conference at the Italian Open.

Djokovic, who turns 37 on May 22, just before the French Open gets under way on 26 May, said he hoped to perform better than he did in his last tournament, the Monte Carlo Masters, where he lost to Casper Ruud in the semifinals.

"I'm on a good route to peak at Roland Garros in Paris," he said.

"Hopefully, here in Rome I can play better than I did in Monte-Carlo."

"The wish, obviously, is always to go far, but let's see."

As top seed Djokovic, who has won the Italian Open six times, has a bye in the first round.

He said the expansion of the event to nearly two weeks influenced scheduling choices.

"It's a different concept now, the first time that Rome and Madrid are almost two-week events, like Indian Wells, Miami.

"It gives you more time to recover between matches if you keep going in the tournament, which I think is useful for me."

As Djokovic continues to overhaul his team, he has rehired former physio Miljan Amanovic for "certain weeks" this season.

Amanovic worked for Djokovic from 2007 to 2017 and again from 2018 to 2022.

Djokovic has sacked several staff in recent months, including coach Goran Ivanisevic and the publicity team.

"I'm a proponent of having a quality team and entourage around you, having people who are experts in their field, who have experience, who have knowledge, who also understand psychology as well," he said.

"They know how to emotionally approach you when you need help or when you need space.

"You spend a lot of time on the tour together.

"You see them much more than you see your family, especially when you're younger, when you're travelling literally every single week of the year."