Novak Djokovic has said that, despite growing up playing on it, clay has become his least favourite surface to play on.
The French Open, which is the only major played on clay, is the Grand Slam that Novak Djokovic has won the least with only a single title in 2016.
In comparison the world number one has won the Australian Open nine times, Wimbledon five times and the US Open three times.
Djokovic is currently playing in Belgrade as a warm-up to this years Roland Garros, and he admitted that the unpredictability of a clay surface doesn’t really suit his game.
“Although I grew up on clay, it is not my favourite surface,” Djokovic said.
“I like to play on hard, then on grass, and then only on clay. But, that doesn’t mean that I recorded bad results on clay.
“Australian Open. Melbourne Park. Rod Laver Arena. 7 p.m. That is the most ideal,” joked Djokovic referencing his domination on the hard court of the Australian Open.
If Djokovic can win this years French Open he’ll become the first man to win multiple titles at all four Grand Slams, although ‘king of clay’ Rafael Nadal will be going all out for his 14th title in Paris.
Djokovic says the differences between the surfaces aren’t always clear to the spectators but even the smallest change can make a big difference to the players.
“Clay is the kind of surface where it is unpredictable, and sometimes for my style of play, tempo, and rhythm it can be quite challenging.
“When there are a lot of bad bounces, when the quality of the surface is not the best, even the wind, what kind of balls they are.”
“People on television think it’s not a big difference, but for us it’s a big difference when the balls change, when you play the evening match, when you play in the middle of the day, when the humidity is higher, the altitude, when it’s warmer… that for our sport makes a big difference.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?