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'Rafael Nadal is my greatest rival,' admits Novak Djokovic ahead of historic Roland Garros final

Rafael Nadal ball toss at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has declared Rafael Nadal his 'greatest rival,' and he hopes he can benefit from the slower conditions in the Roland Garros final.

The world number one will face Nadal on Sunday with both players chasing their own unique slices of history.

Djokovic, though, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in a five-set thriller in the semi-finals, knows exactly what to expect from the Spaniard.

“I’ve played him more than any other player in my career," Djokovic said of Nadal.

"He’s definitely my greatest rival. Playing him in so many great matches, the past will have some effect in terms of respect towards each other and motivation to get out there and play your best."

Djokovic would become the first man in history to win every Grand Slam twice on Sunday, and he says doing it against Rafael Nadal would make it extra special.

“That would be an icing on the cake," he said.

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"I hopefully will be able to play my tennis because that’s what’s gonna be needed, but I’m in position to be close to the trophy.

"I’ve been there, I’ve done it, I know what needs to be done.”

“Obviously the conditions are different than the ones that we are used to playing in May and June.

"I think that could be a better chance for me, obviously the ball not bouncing as high over the shoulder as he likes it usually.

“I did lose to him on this court most of the matches that we played, but I also won one match in 2015 in straight sets in quarters.

"That’s the match that I’ll look back at & obviously try to take some positives out of it & use it tactically against him.”

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