World No. 1 Novak Djokovic scored his first victory over Rafael Nadal on clay in 2011 and 11 years later he still remembers well beating the Spaniard in the Madrid Masters final. Djokovic, 34, had a strong performance in the 2011 Madrid Masters final, in which he defeated local favorite Nadal 7-5 6-4 in straight sets.
“My favorite memory is when I won here against Nadal. The first time I beat him on his favorite surface. It was in 2011, and I won that Mutua Madrid Open, which was very special for me,” Djokovic told Marca, as quoted by Sportskeeda.
Since then, Djokovic has defeated Nadal six more times on clay. Nadal, a 13-time French Open champion, has only lost three times at Roland Garros and two of those three defeats came against Djokovic. Following a first-round bye in Monte Carlo, Djokovic began his tournament campaign on Tuesday against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Djokovic was clearly far from his best in just his second tournament of the season and Davidovich Fokina took advantage to upset the Serb 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1. “I always believed that I could come from behind and win the match, and I stuck with it even though a lot of things were against me in terms of how I felt on the court.
Game-wise, physically I was far from my best level,” Djokovic said after the loss. “So of course in those kind of conditions and circumstances, you have to work twice as hard as normal.”
McEnroe reflects on Djokovic
“Novak Djokovic hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves, he is a class act,” McEnroe told Tennis365.
“I don’t agree with his decision not to get vaccinated, but I respect it. He is one of the fittest guys in the world and everything he puts into his body, he is watching carefully. “It’s unfortunate that it’s come to this situation where it has been a train wreck for him.
A total debacle. To the point where he way he was thrown out of Australia, are you kidding me? The way that all played out was just horrible, so I respect him even more that he has overcome these things. He has to be the most mentally tough player I’ve ever seen on a tennis court.