Djokovic stays grounded after breakthrough win against Nadal

  • Reuters, Paris
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2015 00:49 IST

Novak Djokovic is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground after his awe-inspiring quarter-final victory over nine-time champion Rafa Nadal at the French Open on Wednesday.

The world number one from Serbia handed the Spaniard only his second defeat at Roland Garros in 11 years to book a last-four meeting with British third seed Andy Murray.

Although he is aware that his 7-5 6-3 6-1 win against a man who had won all but one of his matches on the Paris clay since 2005 is no mean feat, Djokovic was not getting carried away.

Nadal was only seeded sixth in the wake of a sub-par clay-court season, meaning the matchup that was played in the semi-finals or the final in the past three seasons came earlier on.

"Well, obviously an ideal scenario is today could have been finals and we could have been having a different discussion. But right now I'm aware that this is a big win, which I will enjoy tonight," said Djokovic, who celebrated calmly when Nadal's double fault handed him his 21st win in 44 encounters with the Spaniard, told a news conference.

"But tomorrow is a new day and I have to move on. It's only the quarter-finals, and I want to fight for the title. That's what I came here for. I have to kind of direct my thoughts to the semis."

Djokovic has won eight grand slam titles but he has yet to prevail at Roland Garros.

He has not been helped by the fact that Nadal has been so dominant, winning nine of the 10 last titles on the Parisian clay -- Roger Federer claiming the other in 2009, the year Swede Robin Soderling beat Nadal in the fourth round.

This year might be the best chance Djokovic has to complete his collection of majors.

"Everything coming together in my life and experiencing probably the pinnacle of my career, of my life, complete person, very satisfied on and off the court," he said. "I think it all influences the results in my performance."

Next up for Djokovic on Friday is Murray, the other player who is unbeaten this year on clay.

"Here he's been playing some really good tennis. He's moving better, serving very well, and he always had a touch, one of the best groundstrokes in the game for the last 10 years since he's been really playing," said Djokovic. "He's extremely talented. He's also a great fighter and somebody that has a lot of experience playing in big matches."

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