World number one Novak Djokovic could not hide his excitement after his 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win over Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals of Roland Garros on Friday.
Djokovic, who will face Andy Murray in the final, had looked slightly sluggish in the lead-up to his semi-final clash with Thiem, especially in the fourth round, where he dropped the opening set in a rain-affected encounter with Roberto Bautista Agut.
With the Serbian looking in ominous form, he is determined to win his first title at Roland Garros after coming up short in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
“It was my best performance of the tournament,” Djokovic told reporters. “As I was hoping after the long fourth round [which took three days because of rain] I’m going to start playing better as the tournament progresses, and that’s what’s happening now. I’m very pleased with the way things are going.”
Last year, Djokovic was on track to win Roland Garros, but he was stopped by Stan Wawrinka in the final. Wawrinka’s win had a bigger impact as well as it ruined Djokovic’s chances of completing a calendar Grand Slam.
Now that he is back in the final, the 29-year-old knows that Murray is the only player standing between him and his first Roland Garros title. Djokovic is also wary of the fact that Murray got the better of him when they last met in the final of the Rome Masters last month.
“I have put myself in a position in which I wanted to be in of course ever since last year’s final,” he said. “I give myself another opportunity to win the trophy.
“I think mentally when we step on the court, maybe to some extent, there is some small percentage in his favour, but he’s in great form. It’s another grand slam title up for grabs for both. It’s going to be a very physical battle, which is always the case.”
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