Novak Djokovic doesn’t need anymore more confidence. The World No. 1 has dominated the circuit at nearly every turn the last 13 months and this week he arrives at the place he’s felt most comfortable: Dubai. Djokovic has won Dubai the last three years, last season ripping rival Roger Federer in straight sets.
Now he enters as No. 1 for the first time and Djokovic is intent on keeping his stellar form.
“At any tournament I aim to win,” Djokovic told the Gulf News today. “I’ve really experienced the best time in my career of late. I’m in the peak of form, 24, and I believe I can win most of the matches I enter on court. I just want to keep up the good work and keep to the same old routine. I’m always searching to be the best.
“Every tournament and every year is different but I’ve always played my best tennis in Dubai and I’ve had lots of success here, so I have all the reason to believe I can do it again, because I’ve always performed reasonably well on this stage.”
Djokovic opens his 3-time title defense against Cedric-Marcel Stebe in a match schedule for tomorrow.
“My brother grew up with him in juniors,” Djokovic said of the German Stebe. “I watched him play [Lleyton] Hewitt and he was impressive. He’s a youngster with great attitude and plays without fear for his opposition. He’s aggressive, hits the ball hard and plays really well.”
Novak’s 20-year-old brother Marko who received a wildcard will also play Monday against Andrey Golubev.
Djokovic has a big month of 2,500 championship points to defend with Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami all scheduled to come off to the rankings.
In his only event thus far Djokovic won an epic final over Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open last month.
“Since Melbourne, I’ve been doing a lot of things off the court,” Djokovic said. “I’ve done some skiing. I went to London for the Laureus Sports Awards, which was a great experience. I’ve had some activities with the media and some reunions with my friends back home in Serbia. So it’s been a nice couple of weeks for me.”
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