Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, world number one, has ensured that

his disqualification from the US Open

is taken as

"a lesson for the future"

for hitting an involuntary pitch to a linesman, although he "cannot" promise that he will not return to happen ", and has affirmed that the Spanish Rafa Nadal is" the favorite number one "for Roland Garros and for" any other clay court tournament ", such as the next Masters 1,000 in Rome.

"Sometimes things like this happen. I cannot promise that things like this will never happen again, but I can promise that I will do my best to prevent them from happening again. I will try to take it as a lesson for the future. Managing emotions has always been an important aspect in my career, "he said by videoconference before returning to competition this week at the Foro Italico.

In addition, he recalled that

"many players also suffered"

what happened to him in New York.

"There has been a lot of discussion about whether the sanction was fair or not. I looked for Laura - Clark, the linesman - at the end of the match to find out how she was doing. She loves tennis, has been a volunteer for many years, was scared but not I was hurt. It was a disappointment to finish the US Open like this, "he said.

In this sense, the Balkan stressed that everything was "involuntary."

"But when you hit a ball like I did, there is a possibility that you will hit someone on the court. The rules are clear, I accepted it. For me it is good that there is a tournament right now. The sooner I play again, the sooner I can leave behind the memory of what happened to Carreño, "he stressed.

On the US Open final, Djokovic said that German Alexander Zverev was "impressive in the first two sets", but praised the new champion, Austrian Dominic Thiem.

"Losing three 'Grand Slam' finals, starting like this in the fourth and winning is incredible. They both wanted that victory very much, but they never disrespect each other. They showed great esteem and their great friendship, it is a good message for tennis, "he said.

"Nadal is the favorite"

In another vein, the Serbian pointed to Nadal, who did not play the US Open, as the rival to beat in Rome.

"It happened to me a couple of times that I went to play Davis on covered clay in Serbia after the US Open final. I know how difficult it is. Nadal chose to stay in Europe and train on clay. This could give him even more advantage. But even if he didn't, he would still be the number one favorite at Roland Garros and any other clay court tournament, "he said.

"It's not easy to go quickly from the US Open to Rome. It is unusual to be in these circumstances, but the players are grateful for the opportunity to play again. You can choose whether to be there or not, but the greats try to be in the biggest tournaments. Clearly for those who have played the US Open it is difficult, so I think Zverev and Thiem have decided not to come to Rome because returning to clay two days after the final after a grueling month of tennis in the United States is not easy, "he said. .

Finally, Djokovic described as "special" the fact that he will surpass -on September 21- the American Pete Sampras in the second position of number of weeks in first place in the ATP ranking.

"Pete was my idol as a child. Breaking his record is special. I've always admired him, I wanted to be mentally strong like him, especially in the big tournaments. He was one of the toughest players in history. Two of my biggest goals, I have already said it, they are: to beat Roger Federer's record and win as many 'Grand Slams' as possible, "he concluded.

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  • Rafael Nadal

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