Monday, 3 January 2011

Novak Djokovic... still trying to recover from a hectic 2010

Interesting article from abc

An overworked Novak Djokovic admits he is still recovering from a hectic 2010, as he gets ready for a Hopman Cup showdown with Australia's Lleyton Hewitt on Tuesday.

Djokovic looked shaky early in his singles encounter with Andrey Golubev on Sunday before powering past the Kazakhstan world number 36, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in Serbia's 3-0 tie victory.

World number three Djokovic spearheaded Serbia's Davis Cup victory over France last month and says the short off-season has affected his preparation for the Australian summer.

"I'm in the process of preparing for the Australian Open and my main goal is to be 100 per cent fit for that tournament," Djokovic said.

"I'm aware of the fact that I will not perform as well as I will probably in two weeks' time because... it was the shortest off-season that I've had in my life and this is only a third week of preparation.

"To be well prepared and to perform well on the court you need at least four weeks. I'm working really hard off the court."

Despite his late finish to 2010, Djokovic says he will not use it as an excuse when the Australian Open rolled around.

"There were quite a few players who had a similar situation. I think (Rafael) Nadal just last year or two years back, when he won the Davis Cup, had a very short break or no break at all," Djokovic said.

"I have played the most matches on the tour in 2009, about 100 matches, and it was a very short break then as well.

"That's the way it is. You try to get the best out of it, try to rest as much as you can ... even though it's less than two weeks, which is not enough.

"You get used to it after a while."

Australia's pairing of Hewitt and Alicia Molik defeated Belgium in their Hopman Cup opener but will face a far sterner test against Djokovic and former world number one Ana Ivanovic.

Hewitt moved freely in his straight sets win over Ruben Bemelmans on Saturday and says he is looking forward to his meeting with Djokovic.

"It's a good test for me ... to play a guy that's come off playing the tour finals in London and winning the Davis Cup as well," Hewitt said.

"It's a good chance for me to go out there and play against the best guys. That's why I play the game."

Belgium, featuring world number 12 Justine Henin, will take on Kazakhstan in Tuesday's other tie.

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