Saturday, 2 July 2011

Novak Djokovic - Ready To End Nadal Streak

Novak Djokovic is confident that he can justify his status as world number one by beating the man he dethroned, Rafael Nadal, in Sunday's Wimbledon final.

Djokovic reached his first Wimbledon final on Friday by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a thrilling four-set win on Centre Court.

The victory also meant that Djokovic leapfrogged Nadal to the top of the men's rankings for the first time in his career.

The two men face off in what promises to be a thrilling final on Sunday afternoon, with Nadal holding a 16-11 advantage in the pair's head-to-head record.

The Spaniard, champion at the All England Club in 2008 and 2010, has, incredibly, not lost at SW19 since his 2007 final defeat to Roger Federer.

However, Djokovic has beaten the Spaniard four times recently in the middle of his 43-match unbeaten run, and is confident that he can claim his first Wimbledon title this weekend.

"This year we have played so many finals and important matches and even though it's a different surface here, I believe I can win," Djokovic said.

"He's been on a winning streak in Wimbledon for almost 20 matches. He's playing great on grass.

"He has still a lot of confidence and he knows how it feels like to win a trophy at Wimbledon. Me, I don't know, because I never been there.

"But I have really nothing to lose. I will step on the court and be aggressive, try to take it to him, because I don't want him to feel in control of the match."

Djokovic admits being crowned world number one will count for nothing if he goes home on Sunday without being crowned Wimbledon champion.

"Being number one is good, but I have to make it count now, of course," said Djokovic, whose only two major wins have come in Australia.

"Being in the final at Wimbledon is something that I always dreamed of.

"Right from when I started playing tennis I was always trying to imagine myself being there on the last Sunday. Being in the Wimbledon final is the thing for me."

Just how much the victory meant to Djokovic was clear when he slumped to the floor and kissed the Centre Court turf upon completing his 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 6-7 (9/11) 6-3 win.

"When I kissed the turf it felt unbelievable," the Serb said.

"It was one of those moments where you can't describe it with the words. All you've worked for throughout your career and your childhood has come true.

"When you know you're going to be the best in the world and you're reaching the finals of your favourite tournament, it's something special."

Reaching number one is all the more remarkable given that Djokovic is competing with Nadal and Roger Federer, two players considered among the all-time greats.

"They don't give you a lot of chances to become number one," Djokovic said with a smile. "I guess you need to lose only one match in seven months to get there."

Djokovic had to dig deep to beat Tsonga, the Frenchman reeling off huge serves and forehands to send his opponent scurrying around the court.

Tsonga was on course to take the first set with an early break before Djokovic broke back, eventually winning a tie-break and coasting to victory in the second.

Tsonga then clinched a thrilling tie-break in the third, with Djokovic squandering two match points, but the Serb hit back to take the fourth set 6-3.

Djokovic admitted that Tsonga, seeded 12th, gave him with a very tough game.

"He's a kind of player that feeds from the energy of the crowd and when he has momentum he can really be unstoppable at times," he said.


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