FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic. Photo: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters
FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic. Photo: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters

Birthday boy Novak Djokovic building up 'to shine' at Roland Garros

By AFP Time of article published May 23, 2021

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BELGRADE – Novak Djokovic celebrated his 34th birthday this weekend at the Belgrade tennis centre which carries his name but with one eye on Roland Garros where he intends "to shine".

The world number one is top seed at the pre-French Open event in the Serbian capital before heading to Paris where he seeks a second career triumph.

"We are working so that I reach my maximum, that everything is perfectly adjusted in Paris, where I want to shine," Djokovic said at a news conference on Sunday.

Djokovic, who turned 34 on Saturday, has endured a roller-coaster clay court season.

He lost in the third round at the Monte Carlo Masters before reaching the semi-finals when Belgrade staged its first event of the spring in April.

He then lost the final of the Rome Masters last weekend to Rafael Nadal, the 13-time champion at Roland Garros.

"I'm really satisfied to be able to play at home twice. It brings me mental serenity and the joy of being able to prepare at home for one of the most important tournaments of the year," said Djokovic.

The Serb is an 18-time Grand Slam title winner with his lone Paris triumph coming in 2016.

If he wins another Roland Garros, he will become the first man in more than 50 years to have won all four majors more than once.

AFP

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