Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Novak Djokovic practices in Melbourne

In-form Serbian Novak Djokovic has taken to Rod Laver Arena for a practice session in preparation for his assault on the 2011 Australian Open crown.

The 2008 champion traded intense ground strokes with a hitting partner as well as practising serves, volleys and smashes during the hit-out. There was also the trademark goofing around from the player known as the "Djoker" - he bantered regularly with his entourage, hit a ball into the closed roof of Melbourne Park's centre court, and even caught a ball in his shorts.

Djokovic's relaxed attitude is no surprise given his stellar form of late. His chief accomplishment was guiding Serbia to its first ever Davis Cup title in December in front of more than 16,000 adoring fans at Belgrade Arena. In the preceding months he had reached his first Grand Slam final in almost three years at the US Open, a run which included a spectacular five-set defeat of Roger Federer in the semifinals, and won the ATP Masters 1000 title in Beijing.

His solid form has continued in 2011. The world No.3 represented Serbia alongside Ana Ivanovic at the Hopman Cup and won all of his singles matches, his blistering performance against Australia's Lleyton Hewitt of particular note.

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