Thursday, 30 June 2011

Novak Djokovic - Ambitions & Dreams

Courtesy & video here

Should he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and get to the men's singles final, Novak Djokovic will become number one in the world rankings. That, he says, is his ambition. But to actually win the Wimbledon title, he adds, is something different - it's his dream.

Whether ambition will be fulfilled and the dream will come true depends on whether the 24-year-old Serb can improve his career record against the burly Frenchman, who is one of the few men who could go into a match with Djokovic right now with reason to feel confident.

The man from Le Mans leads the Belgrade native 5-2 in the career head-to-head. What's even more resounding is that Tsonga has won the last five of those contests.

Of course, none of those matches were in this calendar year, as Djokovic has proved - with only one exception - unbeatable in 2011, with 46 wins out of 47 matches played.

Even so, Djokovic is cautious about his prospects, particularly given that the Frenchman is coming off the back of a huge win against the only man to have beaten the Serb this year: Djokovic says: "He is very dangerous. He had an amazing comeback against Federer, he served well and played well, and he's been playing great in the grass court season so far.

"We are both baseliners so a lot will depend on our serves. I need to serve well because that's something that he's going to do. His game depends on that serve. If he starts missing first serves then I will have more chance in the rallies. But I expect a very, very even match."

The statistics underline what Djokovic means. So far Tsonga has landed 96 aces in five matches compared to Djokovic's 49 and has come to the net far more frequently. Also, as the second seed points out, Tsonga takes to the grass surface more readily than he does. "But I still know I can play on it," says the man who has reached two other Wimbledon semi-finals in the last four years.

None of this would have happened if Novak's parents had not scraped together the money to send their son to a tennis academy in Germany when he was 13. "If I had stayed in Serbia I don't think you would have heard of me," he says.

No matter what else he achieves in the sport, he is assured of hero status in Serbia. When he helped his country to win the Davis Cup for the first time against France in Belgrade last December, half the country's population tuned it to watch on TV.

That sensational victory proved the launchpad for Djokovic's sprint towards the world number one ranking.

By then he had already decided to "start being myself again", putting behind him unexplained rough times in his private life. Taking Rafael Nadal's behaviour on and off court as an example, he says he decided "it was more important for me to be a good person than a good tennis player."

The tennis part was by no means overlooked, however, and towards that end he built around him a team which is regarded as the best in the business.

The former Slovakian player Marjan Vajda had been his coach since 2005 and, after Djokovic briefly employed the American Todd Martin to help improve his serving, he went back to Vajda. Also in Team Djokovic are his physical trainer Milan Amanovic, and Igor Cetojevic, a nutritionist who has been travelling with the team since March. "I have unreserved faith in their instructions and trust them completely," he says.

Improving the serve has been the main Djokovic target, adding speed and spite and ironing out the motion until it has become one of the most consistent in tennis. He has also copied Nadal's aggressive style so well that he has beaten Rafa in all four of their meetings this year.
Perhaps he will make it five if they meet in the final, but first Djokovic has to surmount that massive hurdle of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Novak Djokovic - Not All About The Top 4

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga proves it's not all about the awesome foursome, says Novak Djokovic

James Olley
30 Jun 2011 

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The men's semi-final draw almost feels misshapen in the absence of Roger Federer but Novak Djokovic is acutely aware that the top four players walk a more precarious path than most believe.

Djokovic benefits most immediately from Federer's absence, given that he faces the Swiss's conqueror, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, tomorrow in a match he will be expected to win and progress to his firstWimbledon final. A position of favouritism is something to which Djokovic, the No2 seed, has become accustomed to while cementing his place among the elite quartet in the game.

Something is supposedly amiss should Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray not all feature in the latter stages of a Grand Slam, as the level of tennis they produce continues to prompt debate as to whether this current crop is the greatest generation of them all.

The awesome foursome comprised the semi-final line up at the French Open last month but that was the only occasion in the last five years when the top four seeds have lived up to their ranking.

Federer's exit sent shockwaves across SW19 but Djokovic reflected on the remarkable consistency required to dominate a sport perhaps at its strongest. "That result shows how fine the margins are at the top of the game," he said. "It's not only about the top four players.

"There are other players who are able to play great tennis and Tsonga proved it yesterday. It is all very close at this level, especially in the second week of a Grand Slam."

Djokovic could have been forgiven for losing sight of such sentiment, given his astonishing record this year. The 24-year-old Serbian has won 46 matches and lost just once - to Federer in the semi-finals at Roland Garros - and is one victory away from being confirmed as No1 in the world for the first time in his career.

But despite his remarkable statistics, Djokovic has not been entirely comfortable during these championships, even in securing a four-set victory over Australian Bernard Tomic yesterday. "I need to work on my game," he said. "That's what matters the most, regardless of who is across the net. Tsonga came back from two sets down against Roger and it was amazing. He played well at Queen's and is beating top players. So he is very dangerous.

"Grass is not my favourite surface but I can play well on it and do better."

Djokovic will need to given Tsonga's mood, which will be boosted by a head-to-head record that comes down 5-2 in the Frenchman's favour.Tsonga, who lost the Queen's final against Murray, believes yesterday's result is proof his mental strength has improved in big matches.

"It is difficult to play Federer because you don't know exactly what he's thinking," said Tsonga. "You don't know if he's scared or not.

"I felt really strong because I never panicked. I have improved a lot mentally. I try to stay focused, just breathe and stay quiet. I feel good with this. I like these big moments, so I hope I will have some more."

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Novak Djokovic - QF match photos

Novak Djokovic - One Match From World Number 1

Did not get to watch any of the match as I was at work but I had it on the radio.  It did not sound like a pretty match but Novak managed to fight it out in 4.

Match reports:

The Indepedent

k Djokovic survived some scary moments to book his place in the Wimbledon semi-finals, beating teenage Australian Bernard Tomic 6-2 3-6 6-3 7-5 on Court One...  Full story here


Novak Djokovic has reached his fifth straight Grand Slam championship semi-final and should he advance to The Championships final on Sunday he will become the new No. 1 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings..... Full Story here

Sky Sports

Second seed Novak Djokovic needed four sets to quell the challenge of Australian teenager Bernard Tomic in their Wimbledon quarter-final..... Full story here

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Novak Djokovic - Pre Tomic Interview

Here is a video interview with Novak ahead of his match against Betnard Tomic.

I can't upload the video as I am on my phone but here is the link


Novak Djokovic To Play Davis Cup Against Sweden

Novak Djokovic says he will play will for Serbia in its upcoming Davis Cup quarterfinal in Halmstad, Sweden. Top Swede Robin Soderling has decided not to play, which will make defending champion Serbia a heavy favorite. Djokovic did not play in Serbia’s win over India in the first round. 

"I am on the team," Djokovic said. "But for Soderling, I've heard, yes, that he has pulled out. I mean, regardless if he's playing or not, we will come as the strongest team, the team that has won the Davis Cup title last year, because we are aware that we are going away from home. I wouldn't be surprised if Robin still plays on that match. He's not in the tournament [Wimbledon]. He has still chance to be in the team. But we are not looking at their squad. We are just trying to be the best squad we can."

Juan Martin del Potro will also return to Davis Cup when Argentina faces Kazakhstan in a World Group quarterfinal in Buenos Aires. Roger Federer will be part of the Swiss team that plays Portugal next month in Berne, in Europe/Africa Group I play. Federer has not played Davis Cup since 2009. Rafael Nadal has opted out of Spain’s quarterfinal tie against the United States in Austin, Texas.


Novak Djokovic Recognises Tomic Danger

Courtesy: Daily Mirror

Novak Djokovic thinks he could face the toughest challenge of his Wimbledon campaign yet when he takes on teenage practice partner Bernard Tomic in Wednesday's quarter-final.

Two days after a scare against Marcos Baghdatis, Djokovic looked back to his imperious best as he swatted aside 19th seed Michael Llodra in a 6-3 6-3 6-3 win.

But to reach the last four Djokovic will first have to beat Tomic, who claimed the prize scalp of fifth seed Robin Soderling to set up a victory over Xavier Malisse. The Serbian said: "We have had many opportunities to practise with each other over the last few years so we know each other's game well."

He added: "He can be very dangerous because he doesn't have anything to lose really. He's in quarter-finals, and I'm sure he's going to step into the court willing to win.

"He believes that he can win against the top players, and he has been doing that very comfortably in last couple of rounds here in Wimbledon."

Tomic, born in Germany to Bosnian and Croatian parents, moved to Australia when he was two and started playing when he was seven.

Djokovic spotted Tomic's talent while he was playing on the juniors circuit three years ago and believes that the youngster is a star of the future.

"He has great potential, a great talent and he's showing that right now," Djokovic said.

"He is a qualifier so he has a lot of games on grass under his belt. He loves playing on this surface.

"If you analyse his game, you can see that he loves playing on the fast surfaces. He just has these flat shots. He doesn't give you a lot of time and he serves really well. He doesn't make many unforced errors so it's going to be exciting match."

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Novak Djokovic - Vogue Magazine Photoshoot

More photos from the Vogue photoshoot


Novak Djokovic - I Won't Tame Temper

Novak Djokovic has vowed not to curb his aggression in the second week of Wimbledon after he smashed his racquet in a fit of rage during his thrilling four-set victory over Marcos Baghdatis.

The Serb edged the first set before going to pieces in a second set that had to be halted when he smashed his racquet on the turf three times after losing a rally. Djokovic was let off with a warning and regained his composure to clinch a 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

The Australian Open champion said: "I did lose my temper but sometimes, in my case, that helps, even though it doesn't look great."

He added: "It was frustrating, I cannot lie, but I came back from it and I'm not going to change who I am.

"I can work on some things, but my temper is my temper. My character is my character. You have to try to take the best out of it, not change it."

Djokovic admits he will have to up his game to win his first Wimbledon.

He had to dig deep to beat Baghdatis and was second best on many occasions to the Cypriot, who enjoyed the occasion thoroughly by lapping up the support of the fans.

Djokovic was impressed with the 26-year-old's performance and the atmosphere on Centre Court.

"I have been here a few years now and in that time there were not many moments when I saw practically all the stadium on their feet," Djokovic added.

"It was incredible. It was exciting to see the Centre Court of Wimbledon being so enthusiastic about the match and for me as a player, I have to appreciate that and be happy I was a part of the exciting match."

Novak Djokovic - Pierre Banned From Wimbledon

Courtesy: The Telegraph

Novak Djokovic, the world's second best tennis player, is in distress after being told he cannot bring his pet poodle Pierre with him to Wimbledon.

Not over the prospect of having to beat Roger and Andy or Rafa to win his first Wimbledon title - but over the refusal of authorities to allow his pet poodle Pierre into the country.

It is understood that Djokovic is making representations "at the highest level" to try to ensure Pierre arrives at Wimbledon in time for the tournament's second week.

The dog, to whom he is devoted, has been an ever present during the European clay court season, which Djokovic dominated until losing for the only time this year in the French Open semi-finals.

Pierre was even spotted in Paris, sat on a cushion at a table cafe next to the tennis player who fed him noodles.

"He is upset he can't bring Pierre to Wimbledon and he is pleading with the authorities to let the dog in," said a source in the Djokovic camp. "Whenever he can he takes the dog with him. he is genuinely upset. For him this is a very serious issue."

Pierre along with the tennis player's long time girlfriend Jelena Ristic are critical members of Team Djokovic.

The impeccably groomed, snow white toy poodle, along with his owner, graced the front cover of the July edition of men's Vogue.

The dog - like Andy Murray's border terrier Maggie May - even has his own account on the social network site Twitter.

So far Pierre has tweeted 19 times since logging on on June 14. the tweets include conversation threads with Murray's pet. Coincidentally Murray and Djokovic are good friends.

Tweets from Pierre include "Being Pierre is the best! Woof" and in reference to the Vogue cover photograph:

"Fame has clearly gone to my head. Form an orderly queue for paw-tographs please."

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Novak Djokovic - 3rd Round Match Reports @ Wimbledon

Match Reports

Sky Sports:

Novak Djokovic and Marcos Baghdatis thrilled Centre Court in the evening sunshine before the second seed came through in four sets. Read more here

The Hindu:

Second-seeded Novak Djokovic overcame a spirited challenge from Marcos Baghdatis, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the day’s last match on Centre Court that lasted 3 hours, 15 minutes. It was a rematch of their 2007 quarterfinal in which Djokovic won in five sets and five hours.  Read more here

The Guardian:

Novak Djokovic overcame tough resistance from Marcos Baghdatis to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and progress into the last 16. The second seed lost the second set and had to show great spirit to defeat Baghdatis, the 32nd seed, on Centre Court.  Read more here

 Racquet Smash Video here

Novak Djokovic - 3rd Round Photos @ Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic - Warm-up Video @ Wimbledon

The warm-up from Round 2 against Kevin Anderson

Friday, 24 June 2011

Novak Djokovic - My Wimbledon Photos

Here are some of my photos I took of Novak during his 2nd Round match against Kevin Anderson on Thursday.