Djokovic Hungry For More Major Titles
by James Buddell|
Novak Djokovic, who won his first Grand Slam championship title in three years on Sunday, insisted he can now go on and lift further major trophies after beating Andy Murray for his second Australian Open title.
"I am more focused and dedicated to the sport than I have ever been before," said Djokovic. "I'm living the dream of a tennis player ... I don't want to stop here. Definitely I want to keep my body healthy, fit, and ready for some more challenges to come. I feel that I have a good game for all the surfaces.
"Still Rafa [Nadal] and Roger [Federer] are the two best players in the world. No question about that. [But] it's nice to see that there are some new players in the later stages of Grand Slams fighting for a title. That's all I can say."
The 23-year-old Serbian admitted: "I feel like a more experienced player. I feel a better player now than I was three years ago, because I think that physically I'm stronger, I'm faster, mentally I'm more motivated on the court. I know how to react in certain moments, and I know how to play on a big stage.
"It's the best possible start of the season, very short off season, but I was building up my confidence, and taking the Davis Cup title, taking that confidence into the preparation for Australian Open. The Davis Cup win may have a big role in my great performance here in this tournament. After we won Davis Cup title I was feeling great on the court, just eager to compete."
This time last year there were question marks over his service motion, but since reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals (l. to Berdych) in July, Djokovic has grown in confidence.
"It's been a big mental struggle, because I was trying to separate my professional life from my more private life. [But] it's all about hard work and patience, I guess. There is no secrets. Of course, I was aware of what I do wrong. But once it gets into your head, it's really hard to get it out of your habit. I worked hard the last 10 months, and now it's back."
Djokovic believes Murray, a former junior rival, is capable of lifting a Grand Slam trophy.
"He's, first of all, a very talented player and he's a hard worker. He's been in finals three times, and he just needs to make that final step. Of course, it's not easy. You could see his struggle and frustrations. But it's a learning process. It wasn't easy for me, as well. I know how he feels. He's still young. I'm sure he's going to have more chances to win it.
But Djokovic warned the strength in depth in men's tennis has improved a lot in recent years, so it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain success. "I think tennis has improved so much in the last couple of years," he said.
"It's incredible. To compare the tennis from 2007, 2008, to the tennis of 2010, 2011, I have the feeling the ball is travelling much faster, they're big hitters, big servers. So in order to keep up, you have to be always dedicated professional and consistent with your success."