Playing in the final of a Grand Slam tournament may be pressuring, but the 22-time Grand Slam champion knows what it feels like to be under pressure. History is something that Djokovic has at his fingertips almost always when he steps onto the court, so the 2023 Roland Garros final isn't a new experience for him.
Taking on 24-year-old Casper Ruud, the Serb knew that time and stamina is something that may play in his opponent's favour, even though it was 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz who had problems with cramps in Djokovic's semifinal match.
Playing the first set for one hour and twenty minutes, the stakes were high and the 36-year-old knew how important it will be to win the first set of the match. But there was something that made it harder for him, at least in his opinion.
According to Djokovic, the umpire, Damien Dumusois was rushing with the time, something he certainly didn't want to deal with on a really hot Sunday in Paris, when the heat wasn't coming only from the importance of the moment.
"You start [the clock], I've not even come to the bench. Why are you rushing? You can wait for us to sit down and call the score [before starting the clock]. We're playing one hour and 10 minutes, it's a [potential] five setter in a Grand Slam on clay."
Djokovic really wasn't happy about the way Dumusois operated the shot clock and he made it quite clear. The French umpire was quite surprised by that as he seemed to be giving quite a lot of time during the games.
The Serb seemed to acknowledge that, but he once again emphasized that he was talking about the changeovers, not the shot clock between the rallies. However, even this moment didn't stop Djokovic from winning the first set in the tie-break, 7-1.