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Djokovic Ready To Feel The Love In New York

New York, U.S.A.

Djokovic© Getty ImagesDjokovic has reached the semi-finals or better in every US Open since 2007.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic is eager to begin where he left things off in New York last year as he prepares to open his US Open title defence.

The Serbian, who enters as the Emirates Airline US Open Series champion, has produced consistent results at Flushing Meadows, reaching the semi-finals or better in every US Open since 2007.

“I love playing in this tournament; the last five years I have had lots of success,” said Djokovic. “It's incredible and a very unique feeling to come back to New York as defending champion.

“It's one of the most exciting cities in the world. So you definitely can feel that. Especially the night matches that you play as a player here and in front of the packed stadium. It's a lot of entertainment, a lot of fun. Interactions with people, with fans, they get into every point, they play with you, so it's quite different from all the other tournaments. Every Grand Slam obviously has something unique to offer.”

After winning three Grand Slam titles, a season record five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns and finishing as the year-end World No. 1 in 2011, Djokovic has handled the pressure of trying to repeat his results this year. He retained his title at the Australian Open, successfully defended trophies at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami and the Rogers Cup in Toronto, and reached his first Roland Garros final. He did however lose the top South African Airways ATP Ranking to Roger Federer after the Swiss captured his 17th major title at Wimbledon.

“It's been a long season and a long summer, but my year has been really good,” Djokovic said. “I actually try to always look from a positive side. I do feel physically stronger and [more] prepared than I did last year. Mentally I had some ups and downs throughout the season, but I think that was maybe expected in a way. It's normal to have ups and downs.

“But as I said, I feel good… I was very glad that I had very successful Toronto and Cincinnati tournaments. Coming into the US Open, it was very important for me to get into some hard court matches. Hard court is my most preferred surface, so I really look forward to the start of this major.”

Djokovic will play Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi in the first round and has been drawn in the same half as fourth seed David Ferrer. The fifth-ranked Spaniard, 2009 titlist Juan Martin del Potro, countryman Janko Tipsarevic, 2011 quarter-finalist John Isner, Citi Open champion Alexandr Dolgopolov and Andy Roddick, the last American male to win a major title (2003 US Open), are among the players who will be looking to halt Djokovic’s path to the final.

“There are 128 players here who have plenty of motivation to perform their best in the Grand Slam, the last major of the year, so I'm sure that they want to cause some upsets in the opening round,” said Djokovic. ”I'm truly taking it one step at a time. I’ve had good and bad draws in the past, but it's something I cannot affect, so I'm not calculating or predicting anything. I'm just trying to focus on my game, which is the most important thing.”

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US Open, New York, Novak Djokovic

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