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Djokovic served up 9 aces in his semifinal match against Gulbis. The Latvian, however, managed 13!

Djokovic on Djokovic

Saturday, June 7, 2014
By Matt Trollope

Having reached his second final at Roland Garros in the past three years, Novak Djokovic stands one win away from winning the one major title still to elude him, thus claiming an historic career Grand Slam. We take a look back at some of his most memorable quotes from the past fortnight …

On the mental qualities that make him a strong player: “Resilience, persistence, just faith in general, just belief that there is better tomorrow. And in the end of the day, appreciation for everything that you have in life. Because I know how it is (to have) nothing in the life, really starting from scratch. And then being able to play the sport that I love and having an opportunity to be two years in a row the best in this sport and winning Grand Slams, it's a blessing. So I try not to take that for granted."

On the quality of the courts at Roland Garros: “These are the best clay courts in the world, no question about that. Roland Garros has always had this tradition and history of the best courts and this surface. This year the weather has been so and so, a lot of rain, and it makes the job very difficult for the people who are working on the courts. But regardless of that, I still think that these are the best courts.”

On how dirty clay is compared to other surfaces: “Luckily where I'm staying there is a washing machine, so I'm washing my socks every day (laughter). So it doesn't matter really how dirty.”

On his joint coaching set-up with Boris Becker and Marian Vajda: “I cannot tell you exact way we work together, because I don't want you to discover everything, obviously. But we do have certain agreements and routines, daily routines, that we started respecting now that we are working as a team. Everybody's contributing in their own way to my performances and to my success. So I'm really glad that it's all fitting together, because it took a little bit of time for all of us to understand in which way is the most efficient.”

On speaking other languages (Djokovic has been conducting all of his on-court interviews in French at Roland Garros this year): “I like languages. I think it's always nice, as a foreigner, coming into a country, some other country that you're not coming from and learning at least the basics from their languages, is a nice gesture, in a way. It's a respect to that culture. So how many I speak? Enough to communicate (in) around five, six languages.”

Following his quarter-final match with Raonic, on potentially claiming a career Grand Slam: “I try to focus the intention only on the next match, so I don't think about eventual final. I think about only Gulbis (in the semi-finals) ... But again, I like my chances because I have had now couple of great weeks on the clay courts from Rome to now last ten days here in Roland Garros.”

On facing Nadal for the Roland Garros title: “Knowing that I was that close to win(ning) against him the past two years gives me that reason to believe that I can make it this time… It's easier said than done, of course, because we all know how good he is on this court. But he's not unbeatable. Winning against him last couple of matches in the finals, big events, definitely gives me confidence that I can do it again.”

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  • 19:50
    Right, that's it from us. Thanks for reading over the past 15 days. We'll see you again in just under 49 weeks' time! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Always a pleasure, never a chore!
  • 19:13
    Read all about it!
  • 18:48
    Nole meanwhile is still shaking his head, five minutes on... Poor Nole, after such a comeback...