October 10 (India Today) – World No.1 Novak Djokovic set up a French Open final showdown with old rival Rafael Nadal after resisting a Stefanos Tsitsipas fightback on Friday and believes Sunday clash offers him the opportunity to settle old scores with the Spaniard.
Djokovic might have the lead over Nadal in their extraordinary rivalry 29-26 but the Spaniard has won six of their seven clashes at Roland Garros, including the 2012 and 2014 finals.
“Obviously the conditions are different than the ones that we are used to playing in May and June,” Djokovic told reporters after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets on Friday.
“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 mean, look, regardless of the conditions, he’s still there, he’s Rafa, he’s in the finals, we’re playing on clay.”
The stakes are huge, but Djokovic says it is not the biggest match he has played in his career.
“Finals of a Grand Slam is always huge,” Djokovic said. “But I don’t think it’s the biggest match that I have ever played in my life. I think there were some bigger ones.
“In terms of importance, I mean, if I have to compare, even though I don’t like, probably the first Wimbledon final that I actually played against him (in 2011). Wimbledon was always the one that I wanted to win as a kid and dreamed of winning.
“That’s probably the one that stands out. And the French Open 2016 against Andy Murray here. Every French Open final that I played was the match of my life before I actually won it.
“This is the (Grand Slam) that I won the least, so of course I am extremely motivated to try to get my hands on another one.”