|Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Date: 11 June Time: 13:30 BST|
|Protection: Reside textual content from 13:00 BST and radio commentary from 13:30 on BBC Radio 5 Reside & the BBC Sport web site and app.|
Novak Djokovic says he’s relishing the possibility to make tennis historical past as he goals to turn out to be the primary man to win 23 Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic, 36, faces Norway’s Casper Ruud, 24, within the males’s singles ultimate on the French Open on Sunday.
A victory would take the Serb away from Rafael Nadal’s whole of twenty-two wins.
“I like the sensation, it is an unimaginable privilege to have the ability to make historical past within the sport I actually love and has given me a lot,” Djokovic mentioned.
“The motivation could be very excessive, as you’ll be able to think about. There may be another to go to hopefully get my palms on the trophy.
“I’ve put myself in one other actually very best place to win a Grand Slam.
“That is mainly what nonetheless drives me after I get up within the morning and take into consideration issues I need to obtain. The Grand Slams are what drives me essentially the most.”
One other victory would give Djokovic his third French Open title and he would additionally turn out to be the primary man to win every of the 4 Grand Slam tournaments no less than thrice.
“I have been very lucky that a lot of the matches in tournaments I’ve performed in the previous couple of years, there may be historical past on the road,” Djokovic mentioned.
“So far as all of the data which are on the road, once more it is flattering, it is nice, however I have to win.
“I am happy with all my achievements and I attempt to keep current and within the second. I do know the job is just not completed and now we have one other match.”
Ruud reached the finals of the French Open and the US Open in 2022 however misplaced on each events, towards Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz respectively.
At Roland Garros, Ruud gained solely six video games in three units as Nadal accomplished a routine 6-3 6-3 6-0 victory for his twenty second Grand Slam title.
“Clearly, I want to attempt to do higher than final 12 months,” Ruud mentioned. “Let’s have a look at if I’ve discovered one thing from the 2 earlier ones that I performed final 12 months.
“It is going to be powerful, for certain. He is taking part in for his twenty third, I am taking part in for my first. So I’ll simply attempt to play with out stress and simply attempt to benefit from the second.
“That was my mentality final 12 months as properly, and it did not go my manner.
“It simply feels nice to be again within the ultimate. I did not assume or essentially imagine to start with of the match I used to be going to be within the ultimate.”
Djokovic and Ruud have by no means performed one another in a Grand Slam, however have met 4 occasions on the ATP Tour, with the Serb profitable all of the matches and never even dropping a set.
“It’s going to be the hardest problem of the 12 months for me to play Novak,” Ruud added.
“Novak has performed nice this match and within the Grand Slams he all the time raises his degree.
“I’ve by no means crushed him earlier than, so I’ll need to attempt to give you a greater sport plan.
“I do know I’ll need to play my ‘A’ sport, my finest degree I’ve ever performed if I need to have an opportunity towards him.”
How they reached the ultimate
Djokovic didn’t drop a set within the first 4 rounds, beating Aleksandar Kovacevic of the USA, Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, twenty ninth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain and Juan Pablo Varillas of Peru.
Russia’s Karen Khachanov, the eleventh seed, turned the primary participant to take a set off Djokovic of their quarter-final earlier than the previous world primary took the subsequent three units.
A match with present world primary Carlos Alcaraz adopted within the semi-finals and it was set as much as be a basic at one set all in a top quality encounter earlier than the 20-year-old Spaniard struggled bodily, with Djokovic profitable 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1.
Ruud started with a straight-set win over Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer however needed to combat again from a set down towards each Giulio Zeppieri of Italy in spherical two after which Zhizhen Zhang of China within the third spherical.
He noticed off Chile’s Nicolas Jarry within the final 16, together with his first win over a seed coming with the four-set victory over Denmark’s Holger Rune, the sixth seed, within the quarter-finals.
Ruud made it back-to-back French Open ultimate appearances because of a convincing 6-3 6-4 6-0 win over twenty second seed Alexander Zverev of Germany.
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