Given Nadal’s foot injury issues, Djokovic’s main rival at Roland Garros could be teenage Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, who has moved to sixth in the rankings with clay-court titles in Madrid and Barcelona. Djokovic acknowledged the Italian Open win was necessary ahead of the summer run of Grand Slams.
“After everything that happened at the beginning of the year, it was important for me to win a big title, especially with Grand Slams coming up where obviously I want to play my best,” Djokovic said. “Everything that I was feeling in the first few months of the year, as much as I’ve felt pressure in my life and my career, that was something really on a whole different level.
“But I feel it’s already behind me. I feel great on the court. Mentally as well. I’m fresh. I’m sharp.”