Novak Djokovic before entering the Masters 1000 in Rome: “Everything is fine”

“How do you feel physically, how is your elbow?
Everything is fine, everything is fine. There are always a few little things here and there that get in the way, but that’s normal. And then, when you’re no longer 25, I think you feel things more (smile). It takes a little longer, I imagine, to recover. But I feel good. I miss the competition. Historically, in my career, Rome has been a tournament that has been very successful for me, I won a lot of great victories there, I won a lot (six times) and I played several finals. It’s the clay-court tournament that suits me best and it’s the most important just before Roland-Garros. I hope that this year again, it will serve as a big springboard for Paris where I want to play at my best level.

You’ve been trading world number one with Carlos Alcaraz for several months, but you haven’t faced each other for over a year…
Yes, it’s amazing that we haven’t been in the same draw since the start of the season. But it’s due to circumstances, on his side as well as mine. He will become N.1 again after this tournament in Rome whatever happens there. And he deserves it. He plays awesome tennis. He is the player to beat on this surface, without a doubt. Obviously, everything also depends on whether or not Nadal is at Roland-Garros. But Alcaraz is one of the main favorites without a doubt. We only met once, last year in Madrid (victory of Alcaraz). And if we meet here, it will only be in the final. We both hope to reach the final. But it’s a long tournament and there are a lot of very good players.

What would Nadal’s absence from Roland-Garros change?
It wouldn’t change anything about my preparation. And I do everything to play it at my best level. But, of course, his absence from Roland-Garros would affect the world of tennis and the tournament because of his history in Paris and, more generally, because of what he has achieved in his career and the impact that he had on our sport. I saw videos of his training, I saw that he was trying to be ready for Roland-Garros. We will see. I’m not in his shoes, not in his skin. I don’t know how he feels. But I’m sure he’s doing everything to be there. »

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