Novak Djokovic quells injury concerns in Rome

The 22-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic quelled any injury concerns about his physical status ahead of his Italian Open Round of 64 clash against Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

The Serbian star missed the Madrid Open and was eliminated early from both the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Srpska Open, but he is looking forward to starting his tournament in Rome, where he has won the title six times. “It’s all good. It’s all good. I mean, there are always some things here and there that bother you on this level. It’s normal. Also, when you’re not 25 anymore, I guess you experience that a bit more than used to be the case. It takes a little bit more time, I guess, to recover,” Djokovic said.

“But I feel good. I miss the competition. I love playing in Rome. Historically, throughout my career, Rome has always been a very nice tournament for me; I have had plenty of success and won it many times.” I also played quite a few times in the final,” he added.

Djokovic acknowledged that it takes him longer to adjust to clay than to other surfaces. The 35-year-old explained that there are several aspects involved. “It’s the movement. Every bounce, more or less, is different. It’s such an irregular bounce surface. You have wind. You have clay—a surface that is basically alive. Let’s call it this way: like grass in a way,” Djokovic said.

“On clay, if you have a windy day, the wind takes out the top layer of the surface, and it affects the bounce, the spin of the ball, and the speed of the court. Of course, if it rains or something like this, the conditions are different every single day, and then it affects whether the clay is softer or harder,” said the Serbian star.

Djokovic will begin his tournament against the Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry. It will be the pair’s first ATP head-to-head meeting. “I don’t know much about him. I’ve watched him play several times. I’ve also seen his posts decrease the deficit in points between us. I wish him all the best. He seems like a very nice guy, coming from a country that has had lots of tennis success. He looks like a very hard worker and a fighter on the court. I wish him all the best except tomorrow night,” Djokovic said.

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