Djokovic needs passion with precision to navigate Nadal’s French Open grip

World No 1 was muted as he tanked the 2020 final but must not go overboard with emotion or he risks drowning in the frustrations the King of Clay will throw his way

Some of the cliches shared by players when they look towards their next battles are the affirmations they must take one match at a time and ensure they treat all opponents in the same manner. However, as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal prepare to face each other for the ninth time at Roland Garros on Friday and 58th time overall, Djokovic had no interest in avoiding reality.

“It’s not like any other match,” he said Djokovic on Wednesday. “Let’s face it, it’s the biggest challenge that you can have playing on clay against Nadal on this court in which he has had so much success in his career. In the final stages of a grand slam, it doesn’t get bigger than that.

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