Tennis-Beaten Djokovic hits right notes on clay in Rome
(Reuters) - Novak Djokovic was disappointed to have fallen in the final hurdle against Rafa Nadal at the Rome Masters on Sunday, but the world number one said his level of play over the past week gave him confidence about his chances at the French Open met this month.
The Serb, who turns 34 this week, came back from a set and a mishap and beat Stefanos Tsitsipas, world number five, to Lorenzo Sonego in his rain-hit quarter-finals on Saturday before returning to court later that day to defeat.
But he fell on Sunday 7: 5: 1: 6: 6: 3 against his great rival Nadal.
"I was happy to play him for Roland Garros because of the fine-tuning ... It won't be more of a challenge on clay than playing Rafa in the final," Djokovic told reporters, adding that he was very happy with the fight showed.
"Of course I'm disappointed that I didn't win it, but at the same time I'm very happy with the level of tennis that I found in the later stages of this tournament.
"Going to Paris makes me feel good. I actually feel like I want to feel on clay now. So if I can play the way I played last night and today, I'll have a good one Chance to go all the way in Paris. "
Djokovic will play a home tournament in Belgrade in the week leading up to the start of the French Open on May 30th and hopes to get to Paris with a few more games.
"Of course I have to keep the momentum that I feel with the quality of tennis," he said. "Of course, train more and play a few more games. I think I'm on the right track.
"The last few days have really given me confidence in the sand. I found the game. Now I just have to keep it, this level and the climax in Paris."
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Berhampore, India; editing by Christian Radnedge)
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