Monte Carlo win over Novak Djokovic won’t be a factor in Paris says Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina says that he takes little from his 2022 Monte Carlo Masters win over Novak Djokovic ahead of a meeting with the 22-time Grand Slam champion in Paris on Friday.
Davidovich Fokina beat the former world No 1 at the Monte Carlos event in April last year in a memorably intense three-set clash.
The Spaniard is up for the clash but doesn’t feel that he has any hold over Djokovic because of his win last time out.
Davidovich Fokina was eager to put his previous triumph into context as he believes he was aided by facing an underdone Djokovic last April.
He also notes that Grand Slam tennis is a different kettle of fish especially when the opponent is someone like Djokovic who thrives in the five-set environment.
“It’s completely different to Monte-Carlo,” said the world No 34 Davidovich Fokina.
“Here it’s five sets, and there he’d hardly played any matches… We all know what Djokovic is like. He’s a legend. Playing against him will be an honour, as will returning to [Court] Philippe-Chatrier.
“I’m going to be ready. I’m playing at a good level, I’ve been very relaxed for two matches, competing at a high level. I can’t wait to keep doing that for another match.”
While Djokovic also dimissed the Monte Carlo result, he admitted that Davidovich Fokina is a tough opponent to have to face in the third round at the French Open.
“It was a strange match at the start of the clay season, when I tend to be a long way from my best,” Two-time Roland Garros champion Djokovic answered when he was asked about his memories of his defeat at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
“He is a specialist on the surface, a player who has progressed a lot in recent years, and he’s defeated several good players this season, including [Holger] Rune in Madrid.
“He’s a complete player and he’s capable of playing at a very high level, definitely one of the toughest opponents you could meet in the third round. I know that he will prepare well with the intention of winning, but I believe in myself.”
Davidovich Fokina says that he won’t be intimidated by the third seed.
“I know Djokovic pretty well, I’ve also watched him a lot on TV,” said Davidovich Fokina.
“We’ve practised a couple of times in Marbella, and I get on well with his team. Of course, he’s quite intimidating, but when you play against him several times you see that he is another player who can be beaten. You can’t be afraid, you have to take it to him.”
Davidovich Fokina and Djokovic clash on Friday afternoon with a place in the French Open fourth round on the line.
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