Sunday, 27 February 2011

Djokovic - Staying fit is a priority

Courtesy: Gulfnews

Dubai: Though satisfied with his winning form Novak Djokovic says staying healthy on the tour for the remainder of the season is his priority.

"I guess I rose to the occasion. I was aware of the challenge that was expected from me on court, and I was aware of the fact that I need to be on top of my game in order to beat Roger. So the focus was there," Djokovic said after his 6-3, 6-3 win against the former four-time champion at the Dubai Duty Free Men's Open.

"It was just the perfect performance overall," he smiled.

The Serb won his second career Grand Slam when he beat Andy Murray in straight sets in Melbourne last month. And now in Dubai he has had a perfect winning record of 15 matches, winning three titles in the process — something that has been achieved here only by Federer — who has four so far.

However, Djokovic is not too keen on looking far ahead and setting lofty goals for the remainder of the season. "I want to take one tournament at a time. I've been talking about my goals too many times in the past years, and right now I just want to be playing consistently well. That's all I want," said the world number three.

Good chance

"I want to keep up the good form that I have, be fit, and just take care of my health and my physical condition. I've done it really well in the last two months, and this is the goal basically. I know that if I feel and play this way, I have a good chance to stay in the top three."

Djokovic admitted that he has evolved as a player over the past few months. "Yeah I'm a different player from in last year. I have a serve. Last year the serve was not there and I was struggling a lot. I was using a lot of energy. Now I get to have some free points, which is important," he noted.

And a lot of hard work has gone into perfecting the serve, now such an important element in his overall game. "I have been asked a million times about my serve in the last 12 months. Why did you change? I didn't want to change. It just happened like that. I had some trouble with the shoulder, and I just got into the bad habit motion, some different motion than the one that was working for me quite well in 2008 and 2009. But look, that's behind me. Now I have my serve back, and I've been working really hard. I needed to believe that it's going to come back, and it did," Djokovic said.

Djokovic - Dubai Trophy ceremony

Novak Djokovic - on court interview

Post trophy ceremony on court interview with Novak after yesterday's win over Roger.

The Dubai Kiss Hat-trick

Found these photos on Just Djoker

Djokovic to skip the Davis Cup?

Novak Djokovic looks to be reconsidering his participation as Serbia's Davis Cup title defence begins next weekend in Novi Sad against India just six days after the world number three completed a hat-trick of Dubai Championships titles at the weekend.

'That's a question mark now,' admitted the two-time Australian Open winner after beating Roger Federer 6-3, 6-3 to claim his third straight title at the Aviation club. 'I'm still absorbing this victory. I will decide in the next two days.'

While the Davis Cup from Friday may be in question, there is no doubting that the Serb is well-placed for a run on US hardcourts from March 9 when Indian Wells, the first of the Masters 1000 events, starts.

Djokovic won the 2008 title in the Californian desert over Mardy Fish a year after losing a final to Rafael Nadal.

'It's really important to know for me that I can perform this well. This match has probably been one of the best that I played this year. I want to keep it up, definitely,' said Djokovic after his 71-minute win.

'I feel physically well, fit, and mentally motivated to do even more coming up to Indian Wells and Miami where I haven't done well in the last years. So I really want to work hard and get some good results in the US.

After titles in both of his ATP starts this season, the 23-year-old Djokovic remains the form player of 2011 after also putting out Federer in a Melbourne semi-final.

'I need to be on top of my game to win against Roger. Rafa or any top player you play against, you really have to be focused from the start, first to last point, because any time it could turn around.

'Any time I win against Roger it's a great success because he's such a great player. He's been number one for so many years and won so many titles. It's a huge challenge any time you play him, especially in the later stages of the tournament.'

Courtesy: M&C

Djokovic - Final highlights Dubai 2011

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Novak Djokovic with his new trophy

Match photos & reports here

Novak Djokovic - Dubai Champion 2011

WOOHOO, he did it. Hat-trick of Dubai titles for Novak now :-)

A bit of a sticky patch in the 2nd set but he kept focused and got the break back. He held his own the next game and broke again for the match.

Match reports:


Match photos

More to follow

Dubai final preview/stats


The top two seeds clash in the final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Saturday as No. 1 and four-time winner Roger Federer meets No. 2/two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic. This is the third time in the tournament’s 19-year history the top two seeds are playing in the final. In 2006, No. 2 Rafael Nadal defeated Federer and in 1997, No. 2 Thomas Muster beat Goran Ivanisevic.

Federer has a 13-7 career advantage over Djokovic, including a 3-2 mark in finals. The Serb won the last meeting in the semi-finals at the Australian Open on Jan. 28 en route to the title. In their previous match here in the quarter-finals in 2007, Federer prevailed in three sets. Federer is trying to capture his fifth Dubai title in six finals and second ATP World Tour title of the season (Doha). Djokovic is trying to join Federer as the only players to win this title three straight years. Federer won from 2003-05 and in ’07. Djokovic has won his last 14 matches in Dubai and overall is on a career-best 13-match winning streak going back to December’s Davis Cup final. Djokovic is also attempting to earn his 20th career title on the ATP World Tour.


Winner: $386,000 and 500 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points
Runner-up: $181,500 and 300 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points


Federer: Appearing in his 96th ATP World Tour level final……….He is 67-28 in finals (1-0 in ‘11)

Djokovic: Appearing in his 33rd ATP World Tour level final.………He is 19-13 in finals (1-0 in ’11)


(1)Roger Federer (SUI) vs (2) Novak Djokovic (SRB) Federer Leads 13-7

2006 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo Clay R64 Roger Federer 6-3 2-6 6-3

2006 SUI v. SCG WG PO (Switzerland) Hard RR Roger Federer 6-3 6-2 6-3

2007 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R16 Roger Federer 6-2 7-5 6-3

2007 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard QF Roger Federer 6-3 6-7(6) 6-3

2007 ATP Masters Series Montreal Hard F Novak Djokovic 7-6(2) 2-6 7-6(2)

2007 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard F Roger Federer 7-6(4) 7-6(2) 6-4

2008 Australian Open (Australia) Hard SF Novak Djokovic 7-5 6-3 7-6(5)

2008 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo Clay SF Roger Federer 6-3 3-2 ret

2008 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard SF Roger Federer 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-2

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Hard SF Novak Djokovic 3-6 6-2 6-3

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Clay SF Novak Djokovic 4-6 6-3 6-3

2009 ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati Hard F Roger Federer 6-1 7-5

2009 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard SF Roger Federer 7-6(3) 7-5 7-5

2009 Basel (Switzerland) Hard F Novak Djokovic 6-4 4-6 6-2

2010 ATP Masters 1000 Toronto Hard SF Roger Federer 6-1 3-6 7-5

2010 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard SF Novak Djokovic 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 7-5

2010 ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai (China) Hard SF Roger Federer 7-5 6-4

2010 Basel (Switzerland) Hard F Roger Federer 6-4 3-6 6-1

2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Hard SF Roger Federer 6-1 6-4

2011 Australian Open (Australia) Hard SF Novak Djokovic 7-6(3) 7-5 6-4

Roger Federer Novak Djokovic

Sets Won: 37 22
Tie-break Sets Won: 3 5

Match Wins By Surface:
Clay: 2 1
Hard: 11 6

Federer FastFacts:

2011 Highlights:
W: Doha (d Davydenko); SF: Australian Open (l Djokovic)
YTD W-L: 14-1
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 67
Date of Birth: August 8, 1981
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 2

• Federer, 29, is making his sixth career final appearance in Dubai (4-1)…Has a 29-3 lifetime mark and has not dropped a set this week in posting wins over Somdev Devvarman 63 63, Marcel Granollers 63 64, Sergiy Stakhovsky 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 62 75…Leads the tournament in service games won (95%, 37 of 39 games) and break points saved (13 of 15)

• He is making his eighth tournament appearance and captured titles in 2003 (d. Novak), '04 (d. Lopez), '05 (d. Ljubicic) and '07 (d. Youzhny) while finishing runner-up in 2006 (l. to Nadal in three sets)…The other times he lost in the 2nd Rd. in his debut in 2002 (l. to Schuettler) and to Murray in the 1st Rd. in ’08

• The Swiss superstar has a 14-1 match record on the season and he opened the campaign with his 67th career title in Doha (d. Davydenko)…Since losing to Djokovic in last year’s US Open semi-finals, has compiled a 35-3 match record, reaching final in six of eight tournaments during that span (four titles)

• Has a 67-28 mark in finals and has won at least one ATP World Tour title for 11 straight years, best among active players along with Roddick…His 67 titles rank No. 4 on the Open Era titles list

• His only loss this year has come in the semi-finals at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic)…Has not won a Grand Slam title in his last four tournaments since capturing ’10 Aust. Open (d. Murray)

• He has 757 career match wins in ATP World Tour level play and is No. 8 on the Open Era list…His next target is No. 7 Pete Sampras (762)

Djokovic FastFacts:

2011 Highlights:
W: Australian Open (d Murray)
YTD W-L: 11-0
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 19
Date of Birth: May 22, 1987
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 3

• Djokovic, 23, the two-time defending champion, comes in with a 19-2 career mark in Dubai in his fifth consecutive appearance…In his first two visits, he lost in the quarter-finals in 2007 (l. to Federer) and the semi-finals in 2008 (l. to Roddick)…Since that loss, has won 14 straight matches here with titles in 2009 (d. Ferrer) and last year (d. Youzhny)

• The Serb is on a career-best 13-match winning streak in ATP World Tour level play (33-3 in sets) going back to last season when he posted two wins in the Davis Cup final vs. France…His last loss came to Federer in the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London on Nov. 27, 2010

• At last month’s Australian Open, he rolled to the title dropping only one set, that coming to Croat Ivan Dodig in a second set tie-break in the second round…After that, beat countryman and No. 27 Viktor Troicki (now No. 18), No. 14 Nicolas Almagro, No. 6 Tomas Berdych, No. 2 Federer and No. 5 Murray

• Has a 19-13 career mark in finals and has won at least one ATP World Tour title every year since 2006

• He is trying to become the sixth active player on the ATP World Tour to win at least 20 career titles:

Federer 67
Rafael Nadal 43
Andy Roddick 30
Lleyton Hewitt 28
Nikolay Davydenko 20
Djokovic 19

Courtesy: ATP

Friday, 25 February 2011

Novak into the Final - *UPDATED*

But only after Tomas retired :(  I only caught the beginning of the match and whilst the first set wasn't great it wasn't brilliant either.  2nd set was much better with the breaks but then Tomas was injured and retired at 2-4 down in the 3rd.

Match reports:




Match photos

Novak and the Dolphin - video

A short video showing Novak at the Lagoon when he went to play with the dolphins.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Novak Djokovic - Rd 2 in Dubai

Once again Novak was made to work for his win.  But into the SF he goes where he will play Tomas Berdych.

Match Reports:

TimesOf India

TennisTV post match video here

Match photos:

Round 2 post match video

Short video of Novak after the tough match against Lopez

Djokovic - Round 1 press conference

A bit late but they are not exactly quick off the mark with their website in Dubai.

First Round Press Conference transcript:

Q. Comfortable match for you pretty much.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, but still, I didn’t know how I’m going to start the tournament after three weeks of not playing an official match. So I have to say I’m happy with the performance today. I think he didn’t serve as well and as fast as our last match in Paris couple months back. But still, I was managing to return a lot of balls back and making him play an extra shot.
In the end, we had a lot of fun. He’s considered as one of the funniest guys, jokers on the tour. We made a little entertainment, a little show.

Q. Were you surprised you played so well first match back after Australia?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I was playing well last couple of days in the practices. It was good that I came here five days prior to the first match. So it’s good preparation.

Q. He gives you a target sometimes coming forward a lot, doesn’t he?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Yeah, I’m working on that. It’s not easy after playing 23 years from the baseline you want to step into the court and go to the net a little bit.
But, you know, I’m working on that variety in my game, using the serves well, and I did well today.

Q. Your serve is one of the big improvements. Obviously looked very good today.

Q. How do you feel about the serve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, serve was good. Serve was good. I think maybe a little bit higher first serve percentage would be even better, but I can’t complain. I was using the serve quite well.

Q. What’s the thinking about playing more doubles this year, your brother today, Murray in Miami?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, with my brother here; Indian Wells I’m playing with Troicki; Miami with Murray. So, you know, next three tournaments I’m playing doubles. One of the reasons playing doubles is to work on the serve and volley game and return.
It’s good. It helps. Hopefully I can have fun with it as well. I like playing doubles around.

Q. You still remember your first match after the 2008 Australian Open win?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t remember the first match after. I think it was — was it in Rotterdam or was it here in Dubai? No, it was in Dubai.

Q. With Davydenko.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah, that’s true. Well, I’m a different player since then. I think I’m physically…

Q. Talk about experience in the past three years. You had another big win, so you’re more experienced and get your focus back after such a big win. How did that happen?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. As I said, I’m a different player physically and mentally, and I guess more experienced and I know what to do now.
I mean, back in 2008, I was still very young and won a Grand Slam. I was kind of satisfied with that. I had some good results in first couple of months of 2008, but then I had a lot of ups and downs and wasn’t managing to hold my emotions really well.
But now I’m physically stronger and I’m really fit, and I don’t want to be too happy about the success. Of course it’s a great start, Grand Slam title. It’s a big win, a big achievement, but I want to move on and play consistently well all year.

Q. What was the difference from today and Paris? What did you feel you did better, perhaps Michael did worse?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, my return. I think my return in matches against serve and volley players — and Michael is I think one of the rare serve and volley players these days. It’s very important to return well and to return as many balls back in the court so you can make him play an extra shot and eventually have a chance to make a passing shot.
I think I made a lot of returns in. That’s what made I think the difference.

Q. Just tell us about your brother. How good a player is he, and what do you think he can achieve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, my brother, my older brother that I play here doubles with, I think he’s a good player, but he struggled a lot in the last two, three years with injuries and health issues and things like that.
So even here he has trouble with the left wrist, so I don’t know if he’s going to be able to play backhand today as he does usually, because it’s his best shot.
But main purpose for him here and in any professional event he plays on is to period is to learn. You know, to get as much practice, as much experience as he can, and then use it afterwards. It’s a huge inspiration for him to see the best players in the world, and motivation.
It’s not easy after to go back to the Futures and play, but he knows he can play with the good players equally well. So I think for him, main priority right now is to get fit. He’s still not fit. He needs another couple weeks, and then he can slowly start and try to get to the top 100 in the next year and a half or so.

Courtesy: TennisConnected

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Novak into the Quarter Final

Tough match today for Novak against Feli Lopez.  Scraped through in 3 sets to set up a clash with Florian Mayer.

Match Reports:

Sky Sports

Match Photos: