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“It’s behind me now — I was so close — even though there was a slight disappointment after the match, because I was aware of the chance that I had in Roland Garros,” he said. “But the day after, I felt good about my tournament, about my achievement in Paris. It was the first time I ever have been in the finals of Roland Garros. … I’m still only 25, so I believe that I have a lot more years and a lot more chances to win Roland Garros.”

He famously plucked some blades of grass from the Centre Court lawn, then shoved them in his mouth, after beating Nadal in last year’s Wimbledon final.

That was Djokovic’s first title of any sort on grass, allowed him to overtake Nadal atop the rankings and cemented the Serb as the new man to beat in tennis. He followed that up by beating Nadal in the finals at the U.S. Open in September and Australian Open in January, too.