Novak Djokovic ‘still finding his groove’, but feels display against Gael Monfils was his ‘best match’ of 2022
Things are starting to click for Novak Djokovic as he delivered “probably the best match of the year” to see off “a very tricky” Gael Monfils in his opener at the Madrid Open.
Having made a sluggish start to the clay-court season at the Monte Carlo Masters following his long absence from the Tour due to his unvaccinated status, Djokovic went up a level at the Serbia Open a fortnight ago as he finished runner-up.
And he took it up another notch against Monfils in the second round in the Spanish capital with a fine display against mercurial Frenchman, easing to a 6-3, 6-2 win courtesy of three breaks while he saved all five break point opportunities against him.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 3, 2022
“Probably the best match of the year so far for me,” he told Tennis TV.
“I haven’t played many matches and am still finding my groove, but a very good win against a very tricky opponent who is so fast, you have to expect you are going to play an extra shot against Gael, one of the quickest, most athletic players we have in the game.”
He added: “These days I have been practising in different conditions, sunny and the ball was bouncing more, and on the practice court it was faster and quicker.
“Then it’s a rainy day, roof closed, a lot of clay on the court, you have to adapt to that and I felt like I did well in important moments.
“The interruption probably helped me a little bit to get my things together and I broke straight away when we continued so all in all a good performance.”
Up next is former world No 1 Andy Murray with the pair set to meet for a 37th time after the Scot defeated Denis Shapovalov in three sets.
Novak Djokovic still has Olympic dream in his sights
The Olympic dream still claws at Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic has a champion mindset that powers his success
Novak Djokovic says that you need to think like a champion to be a champion.
WTA Rankings: Karolina Muchova treads comeback trail
Karolina Muchova made her first last-eight appearance of 2022 as a wild card in Tallinn.
Hubert Hurkacz takes a step towards Turin with victory in Astana Open first round
Hubert Hurkacz was in dominating form during his 82-minute triumph over Cerundulo.
Irritated Iga Swiatek pulls out of Billie Jean King Cup over schedule conflict
The world number one has hit out at the lack of time between the WTA Finals and the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
Carlos Alcaraz to battle Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic for Astana Open
The Astana Open could feature a number of Carlos Alcaraz dream matches.
The wit and wisdom of outspoken former World No 1 John McEnroe
John McEnroe has always had plenty to say.
Novak Djokovic: Five remarkable records held by the GOAT contender
Novak Djokovic stands alone in the record books.
Novak Djokovic sends out a warning as he storms to another ATP title
Djokovic won the ATP 250 event without dropping a set al