French Open

I'm in best form of my life - Djokovic

2015-06-04 06:50
Novak Djokovic (AFP)

Paris - Novak Djokovic shattered Rafael Nadal's French Open stranglehold in a brutal 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 quarter-final demolition on Wednesday and admitted he's in the best form of his life.

The world number one beat the defending champion for the first time in Paris after six losses including the 2012 and 2014 finals.

It was just nine-time champion Nadal's second defeat in 72 matches at Roland Garros and Djokovic's 27th successive win on the tour this year.

"Everything is coming together in my life and I am experiencing probably the pinnacle of my career, of my life. I am a complete person. Very satisfied on and off the court," said 28-year-old Djokovic who, in the last 12 months, has got married and become a father.

"I think it all influences the results and my performances."

This year, Djokovic boasts a 40-2 winning record and is undefeated since February.

In that time, he has racked up a fifth Australian Open as well as sweeping Masters at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome.

Djokovic's next task is to take on third seed Andy Murray on Friday for a place in Sunday's final as he continues his campaign for a first French Open title and a career Grand Slam, something only done by seven other men.

A win on Sunday, should he get that far, would also put him halfway to a calendar Grand Slam which has only ever been achieved by two men - Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969).

The Serb was facing Nadal for the 44th time on Wednesday and raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first set before the Spaniard rallied to level at 4-4.

That was about as good as it got for the 29-year-old left-hander who was constantly under siege for the rest of the match and in a sobering third set managed to win just 13 points.

"I didn't want to give him too much comfort and the opportunity to dictate the play," said Djokovic, who carved out 18 break points against the nine-time winner.

"I tried to mix up the pace, get into the net. Dropshots, high balls, fast balls, always something different.

"He didn't serve well, especially in the second and third sets. He made some unforced errors that are not characteristic of him from the forehand side. But that's what happens when you don't feel comfortable on the court.

"I played fast to his forehand, moved him around the court and he was a bit uncomfortable in his footing. That's where I want him."

Despite the one-sided victory, Djokovic said it would be wrong to write off Nadal - who followed fellow heavyweight Roger Federer out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage - as a force in the game.

"I don't think this is a big deal. He's 29 and still has years in front of him and I am sure he's going to bounce back and play very strong."

Read more on:    french open  |  novak djokovic  |  tennis


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