Sunday, 20 February 2011

Novak Djokovic - Out to break the Nadal/Federer hold on tennis

Courtesy: Gulftimes

Not liking the strapping he has on his knee :-( Hopefully it is just a precaution.

Australian Open champion and two-time Dubai Duty Free Men's Open winner Novak Djokovic is well aware of what it will take to break the Federer-Nadal hold at the top of the world rankings.

"I am very much aware if I really want to stay at the top of men's tennis I cannot allow myself to have anymore big ups and downs," he said.

"I have to be consistent and that's what I was in the last couple of years, and that's why I am number three in the world and got to number two. I have been working hard physically and mentally.

"The approach now is a bit different, but last year, in the first six months, it was a very different situation for me. I faced some side factors that affected my game.

"My health wasn't that great and I had to go through the struggle. I felt worse at the start of the clay court season, which is very tough for us Europeans. We have to play all these tournaments week after week, at a very high level. If you are not physically fresh and healthy you cannot really expect good results.

Aggressive game

"I just wasn't stable enough. It all had its toll.

"In the next six months, starting with the Wimbledon semi-final, where I felt that I had played a game that was characteristic for me, I felt good with being aggressive on the court and being confident.

"Since then, it was more or less uphill."

Djokovic was the trump card for Serbia's success when they went on to narrowly edge out France 3-2 in the final of the Davis Cup at the end of the season.

"It was a great year - Davis Cup title and a Grand Slam title, and a couple of other big results like the US Open final," he said.

"My team and I have made a schedule to really prioritise major events because that's where I want to do well. So I cannot spend that much energy in some other things."

The lanky Serb said he used his lack of time on the court as a take-off for the 2011 season that led him to winning his second Grand Slam crown at last month's Australian Open.

"It was a big relief because I was always quite close, played a couple of semi-finals, played finals," he said. "Winning one Grand Slam already three years back gave me enough confidence that I could win more, especially on the hard courts."

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