Stars aligned as Djokovic chases career slam in Paris

Sat May 23, 2015 10:54am EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic may never have a better chance to win a maiden French Open title and complete a rare career grand slam.

The world number one enters this year's Roland Garros on a 22-match unbeaten run having claimed the Monte Carlo and Rome Masters titles.

While his great rival and claycourt master Rafa Nadal is showing signs of frailty, Serbia's Djokovic, who has reached the final twice at Roland Garros (2012 and 2014), could not be in better shape.

Since last November, he has won the ATP World Tour finals, the Australian Open and became the first man to win the opening three Masters tournaments of the season in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo.

"It is obviously very encouraging knowing that I have won all of the big events from last October, that I've been playing some of my best tennis in my life, and coming into Roland Garros with that amount of confidence helps," he told a news conference after Friday's draw.

In 2011, Djokovic arrived in Paris brimming with confidence only for Roger Federer to snap his 43-match winning streak in the semi-finals.

But the Serb believes he has matured into a more level-headed player.

"I just feel more complete as a player in terms of ability to handle the emotions on the court, to find a way to win the tough matches," he explained.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Roger Federer of Switzerland during their final match at the Rome Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile