Press conference: Novak Djokovic

This content was published 10 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Novak Djokovic will make his return form a wrist injury in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
We caught up with the world No.2 to see how he was recovering ad he gets back to action at Foro Italico.

Are you confident you are 100% fit?
Djokovic: It was a big decision not to go to Madrid but I accept the amount of the risk that I would take if I had decided to go to Madrid compromising the week in Madrid, the next one in Rome and of course Roland Garros and Wimbledon if the injure had come back. The second time they come back, they become chronicle, and the wrist is a kind of injure that a tennis player doesn’t want to have. Del Potro, Davydenko are example of this: they need surgery, and to be off to the tour for 9 months or something. The medical team has advised me that it’s not the best option, and sometimes you have to listen to what they say.

You said that few days before Madrid you start to have no problem. So it’s ten days today that you don’t have anything wrong, is that correct?
Djokovic: Exactly. I had practising, and monitoring with my expert team: doctors, physio, I’ve been trying to have as many opinion as I can. Of course following the process of practice and gradually increase the intensity as I was coming closer to Rome. Now I know that I am more ready to play a game than I was before Madrid tournament.

Rafa Nadal won in Madrid but he lost in the QF at Barcelona and Montecarlo. Do you think he is more vulnerable now?
Djokovic: I don’t think he’s much changed. People expect him to win Montecarlo and Barcelona, and all the clay tournament he plays every year. Losing in QF against very good players can give other player a little more belief that they can win against him in the big ones. But still this can give to other player

You’ll play with Stepanek your first match, who’s 35, can you envisage still play at 35?
Djokovic: He’s play with a lot of touch and talent: style, flat shots, comes to the net. He has a very nice variety on all surface. I am 27 soon, still a lot of years to go to 35. I don’t know if I’ll be able to play at high level at 35, but I wish. Definetly.

Can in fact not playing for a week recharge the battery a little bit perhaps give you a little edge?
Djokovic: That’s something that I wish to have but at the end of the day I don’t like lose the big tournament like Madrid. I have a schedule which is very good to me. I’ve been injury-free for the last five years, this time this injure kept away from playing Madrid. But on a negative side it could influence my first match here, and competitive play, because I haven’t play many match on clay this season and we are coming close to Roland Garros. But on the other side I wish this freshness in a very congested period of season can give me that edge.

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