Novak Djokovic: ‘Inspired to Play Best Tennis’ at the 2014 French Open

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By Rachelle Corpuz | May 26, 2014 2:51 PM EST

Serbian athlete and world's second-ranked Novak Djokovic is reportedly "inspired" to play his best tennis at the Roland Garros 2014 French Open tournament.

Fresh from his victory against Rafael Nadal at the 2014 Italian Open, Djokovic told ESPN.com that the Spanish athlete may be the crowd's favourite to win the title at the 2014 French Open, he is confident that he is going to be a tough challenge for the top-ranked Nadal.

REUTERS
Novak Djokovic of Serbia sprays champagne to celebrate after winning the men's singles final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Rome Masters tennis tournament May 18, 2014.

"Winning against Nadal on clay is something that doesn't happen every day," Djokovic said.  "The tournament win in Rome came at the right moment for me," Djokovic added.

"For my confidence level it's definitely a booster and a positive thing."

"Hopefully I can carry that confidence coming into Roland Garros, I'm healthy and obviously very motivated and inspired to play my best tennis here."

Djokovic and Nadal faced each other in the Roland Garros French Open for five times, according to the head-to-head match stats from the Association of Tennis Professionals' (ATP) official Web site. Djokovic first clashed and lost to Nadal in the quarterfinals of the said tournament in 2006. A year later, Djokovic fell back to Nadal in the semifinals. The same story happened in 2008. Then, in 2011, Djokovic made his first final at the Roland Garros against the Spanish athlete, but still Nadal still persevered. In 2013, Djokovic and Nadal exchanged shots in the semifinals match but the Serbian athlete was sent home but the Spaniard again.

"Knowing that I have gotten closer and closer each year to the title gives me enough reason to be confident from the start of this year."

"It's a Grand Slam."

"It's a two-week-long event, best-of-five sets, and there is a feeling that almost all of the players who are participating in the event have an extra motivation to perform well."

Can Djokovic really outdo Nadal and other participants at the 2014 French Open, the only Grand Slam tournament that he hasn't won? Will Djokovic finally be able to bring home the trophy to complete his career Grand Slam?

Djokovic, who recently celebrated his 27th birthday on May 22, will face Joao Sousa in the first round of Roland Garros 2014 French Open.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Giampiero Sposito)
Novak Djokovic of Serbia sprays champagne to celebrate after winning the men's singles final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Rome Masters tennis tournament May 18, 2014.
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