‘Belgrade got me pumped for Roland Garros,’ says Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic says it was a good decision to play in Belgrade the week before Roland Garros and that it was an easy choice to make.

Djokovic, like most of the top players wouldn’t usually compete the week leading up a Grand Slam, preferring to train on the tournament courts and avoid the risk of injury.

But with the week delay of Roland Garros due to COVID-19 restrictions, an additional event was added in Djokovic’s home land and the Serbian broke with tradition to compete.

The world number one now says it was the right choice for him, not only because the title win boosted his confidence but that he was able to play freely and in front of a crowd.

“Well, especially in these kinds of circumstances in the world that we are living in today with bubble and restrictions and the inability to really be free,” Djokovic said.

“I knew months ago that there’s gonna be another kind of bubble here in Paris with that hour of exercise a day that you get to go out, but other than that it’s courts, hotel room.

“So, when I found out that in Belgrade we’re going to have the crowd most likely – it was an easy decision for me because I wanted to spend more time with my family, with my kids my wife, parents, brothers.

“And just feed off that great energy and support that I had in the last couple of matches, particularly in the finals it was just an amazing atmosphere.”

The decision hasn’t seemed to have any negative impact on the Serbian’s game, winning his first two Roland Garros matches in straight sets, in fact Djokovic believes it might have actually helped.

“I don’t get too many chances to play at home, so I wanted to use it and really get myself pumped for Roland Garros. So far it’s been working well, it seems like a good decision.”

The 34-year-old will play Ricardas Berankis in the next round of the French Open. If he wins that, he is potentially on course to play Italian youngster Lorenzo Musetti, followed by Roger Federer in the quarter-final and Rafael Nadal in the semi’s.

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