WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN 2013
Djokovic Motivated To Make History In Cincinnati
by ATP Staff|
Novak Djokovic looks to make history this week, as the first player to achieve the Career Golden Masters. After four runner-up finishes in Cincinnati, the World No. 1 could complete his set of all nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles by claiming the elusive Western & Southern Open crown.
“The fact that I have an opportunity to make history in the sport that I'm playing that I love is incredible,” he said. “This is just another extra motivation for me to try to do the best that I can and reach the, hopefully, final stages of this event. Again, it's a long week and it's different conditions from what we played last week. Working hard on the practice courts to get ready. Hopefully, I can get the best out of this tournament.”
The Serbian began his Emirates Airline US Open Series campaign last week as the two-time defending champion at the Coupe Rogers, and lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in a third set tie-break in the semi-finals. Their previous meeting, in the Roland Garros semi-finals, was also a tight affair – with Nadal prevailing 9-7 in the fifth set.
“Looking at the match that we had a few days ago, I think it was decided by just a few points,” said Djokovic. “There was no difference in the previous matches we had – most of them – in the last few years. 2011 I was winning most of them; now he's winning. It's a course of life.”
Djokovic defeated Nadal in seven straight finals, from the 2011 BNP Paribas Open through the 2012 Australian Open, but Nadal has won five of their six matches since to take the 21-15 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
“You can't always be winning the matches,” added Djokovic. “You can't always be the one that is going to prevail in the important moments. It's mental. It's a matter of confidence also. Sometimes you manage to go for the shot that usually you wouldn't and sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't for you. I guess that makes a difference.”
Djokovic also spoke of his growing rivalry with Andy Murray, whom he has faced in the final of three of the past four majors. Djokovic, who leads their FedEx ATP Head2 Head 11-8, won the Australian Open, while Murray won at the US Open and Wimbledon.
“Hopefully that rivalry can develop over the years, but it's still not the biggest rivalry we have in sports,” he said. “It's definitely, out of all the active players, Federer and Nadal.
“But Andy and myself, we played a lot of great matches, especially in the last two, three years. Some big ones he won; some big ones I won. So it's always unpredictable who's going to come out on top whenever we play. It's a huge challenge for both of us, so hopefully that can develop over the years and we can play many more big ones.”
The pair could meet in the Cincinnati final for a third time. Murray won in 2008 and 2011.