Novak Djokovic has claimed there is always something to learn from players of Rafael Nadal's caliber, but admitted he would not ape the Spaniard's style of play on claycourts to enjoy more success on the surface.
Novak Djokovic stormed into the fourth round at Roland Garros with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Ricardas Berankis on Saturday.
Speaking to the media after the match, Djokovic said he could take a few pointers from the way Rafael Nadal goes about his business on clay. But the Serb also pointed out that he would not change his style of play as it was quite different from the Mallorcan's.
“Of course you can always pick certain details from the best players in the world and try to learn from what they do well," Novak Djokovic, who will next face Lorenzo Musetti, said. "But we have a completely different game style so I'm not really trying to copy his game or anything like that on any surface."
“I have my own authentic style I have developed over the years, but definitely when you watch him play, particularly on clay, there is always something that you can learn. I consider myself a student of life and student of this sport regardless of the career and success that I have behind me."
Novak Djokovic revealed that he keeps an "open mind" while watching tennis so that he can learn as much as possible, regardless of the players involved.
“I can always learn something not just from him but from any player that I get to see how he or she plays," Novak Djokovic continued. "And sometimes just watching videos of random players and random matches can trigger something in you that you can see, that you can observe, that you can implement later on in your game. So I try to have an open mind always when I watch tennis.”
Novak Djokovic's dominance is like that of Lewis Hamilton: Jim Courier
Novak Djokovic's thumping win over Ricardas Berankis prompted four-time Slam champion Jim Courier to compare the top-ranked Serb to Lewis Hamilton, who is on his way to becoming the greatest Formula 1 racer of all time.
Hamilton has won a joint-record seven world championship titles and holds the records for the most wins (98), pole positions (100) and podium finishes (169).
“It’s like the dominance of Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team. Berankis is a great driver, he maximizes everything under the hood. But Novak Djokovic is driving a completely different race car,” said Jim Courier. “Berankis can’t do the same things. On the same track, he can’t race the same. Novak can drive how he wants.”
Responding to the praise, Novak Djokovic said he was "honored" to be compared to Hamilton as he holds the Brit in very high regard.
"Well, I'm honored to be compared to Lewis," the Serb said. "I respect Lewis and everything he does in his career, but also, off the court with his activism. Something that truly inspires me and a lot of athletes."
Novak Djokovic, however, joked that he does not want to compare his driving skills to that of Hamilton.
“I don't want to talk about my driving next to Lewis' name," Djokovic added. "Honestly, it's embarrassing to speak about my driving, and in the same sentence with Hamilton. But I like to drive fast but I have to respect the rules, I guess."
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