Novak Djokovic: “I’m Physically Fit And Ready For The Challenges That Will Come”
by Tom Gainey | May 13th, 2012, 3:10 pm

After bowing up Friday on the blue clay at the Mutua Madrid Open to Janko Tipsarevic, Novak Djokovic is all business this week in Rome.

“I’m physically fit and ready for the challenges that will come,” said the Rome defending champ Djokovic. “I’ve had a fantastic time here, especially in 2011. I really feel that this is why I feel really close to the Italian people.

“This year so far for me has been great and I have already won a Grand Slam [at the Australian Open] and Miami. Obviously I set high standards for myself with 2011, how it was in the first six months, but I never compare and I wanted really to focus on each and every tournament that I play in.

“Physically and mentally I am fine. I am where I wanted to be. I am number one in the world and I am winning Grand Slams. I love the challenge and I will now have to work harder to stay where I am.”

Djokovic will play his first match in his title defense against either a qualifier or Bernard Tomic.

“Expectations and pressure are part of the professional sport and this is something that you get used to, but I think I have enough experience to know how to approach a Grand Slam and a tournament,” Djokovic said.

“I have played so many big matches and I love the opportunity and I love the challenge. It is one of the top priorities, but it is a Grand Slam where Nadal is always the top favourite and Federer and other players are able to win it. It’s going to be interesting to see who comes out on top.”

Ahead, Djokovic will bid to complete the Career Slam at the French then defend his Wimbledon title. It will be a crucial stretch for the World No. 1.

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28 Comments for Novak Djokovic: “I’m Physically Fit And Ready For The Challenges That Will Come”

Djokowins Says:

Go No1e !!!
You are the real NO1e.

dc Says:

Novak Djokovic: “I’m Physically Fit And Ready For The Challenges That Will Come”

what a hypocrite – why was he not ready to face the challenge of a new surface.Instead he chose to whine along with Nadal.

And Nadal is another super duper hypocrite – at 2009 Wimby final, he wasted at least an hour using his regular time-wasting tactics and forced Fed to play in the dark and then won the match.

These two are the new COAT (Crybabies of all time).

alison hodge Says:

DC Rafa would have a bit of a job making Roger play in near darkness in the 2009 wimbledon final,been as he didnt even play that year due to been injured with tendonitis,he actually played Roddick that year,he played Rafa in 2008 final,however i know what you meant anyway and dont get me wrong Rafa does take alot of time between points,but be that as it may it was down to the officials to decide whether to let them carry on playing not Rafa,it could just be possible that Rafa won that match because he was the better player,anyway its all in the past now its completely irrelavant.

Gordo Says:

The problem at 2009 Wimbledon was the darkness, and the cameras ability to pick up images in low light in no way reflected how dark indeed it was.

To suggest Nadal slowed the match in order to win in darkness is plain silly.

However, as good and exciting as the match was one cannot help think that just maybe Nadal won, possibly because he was the better player on the day, but also possibly because he had the better night vision, and that shouldn’t be a tool you need in this game.

But did Fed go Wah – unless they get lights I am not coming back? No. Mind you – he didn’t have to – they added lights to the main stadium, didn’t they? :) But still, he didn’t complain about Rafa’s time delaying, and he didn’t cite the darkness as a reason he lost.

Still – Djokovic and Nadal – what a pair of petulant whiners, in effect stating that Tipsarevic and Gonzales didn’t really beat them in Madrid – they lost because of the blue clay which is not their idea of a good surface.

dc Says:

@ Alsion – yeah, i know he didn’t do that on purpose, but complaining about playing conditions (surface) when you make playing conditions tough for others by making them wait forever & ever is ridiculous.
Every time i watch another player bending 45 degrees in receiving position and waiting for 20+ seconds for Nadal to serve; my back starts aching.
Not only does the opponent have to spend extra time standing in a very uncomfortable position, he also has to dip into his reserves of mental energy to concentrate for those extra seconds. repeating this unnecessary chore for few hours could make the difference between loosing & winning.

jane Says:

Yay Nole!! Thanks for posting the video Tom. I hope he does well at Rome. He loves Italy and speaks Italian so well. :) But he has a pretty tough draw, so you never know.

jane Says:

Gordo, do you mean Wimbledon 2008? If so, I believe that light was in fact an issue that Federer mentioned in his post-match interview. A couple of his comments were as follows:

“I almost couldn’t see who I was playing,” Federer said, shaking his head.

““It’s rough on me now, obviously, to lose the biggest tournament in the world over maybe a bit of light.””

harry Says:

Nole’s moving tribute to his grandfather:

Couldnt help feeling how articulate nole is…

jane Says:

Thanks harry – it was kind of you to post the link.

harry Says:

no problem, jane :-) how well he talks — no, expresses his thoughts — really impresses me.

roy Says:

“I almost couldn’t see who I was playing,” Federer said, shaking his head.

““It’s rough on me now, obviously, to lose the biggest tournament in the world over maybe a bit of light.””


and how was that to nadal’s advantage?
in case any of you follow tennis, federer has a much bigger serve than nadal.
and his serve would be harder to return in lowlight than nadal’s, given the extra pace, and difficulty tracking it.
this is an advantage to federer if anything.

jane Says:

roy, I wasn’t suggesting it was to Nadal’s advantage. I was merely providing those quotations in response to Gordo as he said the following: “he didn’t cite the darkness as a reason he lost.” I think in fact Fed did imply darkness may’ve been a factor in his loss.

This is all past history. But I am just trying to show that ALL players occasionally say things they shouldn’t or express that they may’ve felt extenuating factors played a role in their matches. It’s not only Nole or Rafa. To my mind, Nole and Rafa are also great players and champs. That’s all. I’ll leave it at that. :)

skeezer Says:


Don’t think it was an advantage for both actually. Lets’ just say Rafa handled the darkness better that Fed….they both had to play in it…..

skeezer Says:


imho I really think Nole is the guy to beat. I would pick him to win FO and USO ( Wimby is a toss up with a fav draw for Fedster ). How quickly he is forgotten about last year. He for sure has the kryptonite game to beat Rafa, and Fed… inho its all in is head, and on his racquet. This is coming form the avid Fed fan. For Fed, just hoping the stars align ( jamie? )right for him to sneak in another slam( or 2??) before he sails off. Thing about Fed is he is back and a bigger threat than ever….he now is the big wild card the remaining part of the year…who woulda thunk it at 30/31?

Would like to see some guys like “Roanic”, “Isner”, “Dolgo”, “Delpo” come through an upset the big guys just to make the tourneys more interesting. The challenge draws are all to easy as some will attest,,,,, it’s always Rafa/Fed/Novak/Murray.

We need some new awesome guys coming up…bring it!!!

Kimberly Says:

Skeezer, I know you posted that link to show it was in fact dark but what a great photo, brings back wonderful memories. Hoping for a four year anniversary repeat!

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Concur with all.

Would that our players and champions had half the class you do!

harry Says:

enjoyed reading your 10:28 post! i think the-fed still has a slam ;)

Michael Says:

Novak’s level has dropped considerably from 2011 when he seemed invincible. But he was lucky then and now by the law of averages things are turning a bit. Now Rome Masters has become very crucial for Novak to retain his No.1 ranking. Not that he is going to drop in ranking but he has to win it if he has to take the momentum forward to Rolland Garros. Novak has a very tough year and it will be quite difficult to retain his No.1 ranking. If he manages to do that, then it will show his Championship qualities.

King Federer Says:

So we are comparing the immature whining that went on non-stop (djokovic is whining even after he reached rome) to a couple of comments uttered immediately after the most heart-breaking loss for a champion who was invincible on the surface for 5years?

what next jane? would you condone murder if novak committed one and say it is the same level of crime as people getting tickets while driving?

Why are you condoning behaviour befitting teenagers, because he is your favourtie? If the courts were really as dangerous as novak tried to convince us, how come not a single player was injured? maybe novak has exaggerated how risky the courts were? if yes, why did he do that? any answers why they were no injuries on such a minefield of a court?

Wog boy Says:

Thanks, very nice, indeed!

Nice words!

You are right, very very important for Nole but not so for #1 as for FO. He can get back to #1, if he is to lose it, after USO but he probably will not have another chance to put 4GS together and maybe olympic gold that no man did before.

For Nole we can say:
“Alea jacta est” and “Hannibal ante portas”

I love Rome and its history, last time I was there was in 1997 and I had a ball, all the way down to Pompeii, Positano and Amalfi coast mmmmmm, sweet, sweet memories :)

Wog boy Says:

I forgot the most important thing:

Congrats to Federer and his fans, good job:)

alison hodge Says:

DC yeah i agree Rafa does take too much time between points,its like skeezer said Rafa probably handled the darkness better,conditions were the same for both players,the better player won on the day,lets leave it at that.

alison hodge Says:

Thanks for that great photo Skeezer,certainly brings back happy memories,im hoping like Kimberly that he makes it number 3 this year,but im sure you have other ideas about your fav lol,anyway just to say congrats to you on Rogers win yesterday,the man played great all week.

Tennis Fan Says:

Apparently Novak is ready for anything except … blue clay … warmer than average temperature because of an asthmatic condition that flares up sporadically … and whatever he wants to wank about this week … lets get a real champion back at the top!

jamie Says:

Unfortunately for Nole, looking at astrology, the winner of Roland Garros this year will be either Nadal or Federer.

jamie Says:

As a matter of fact, according to Chinese Astrology, the next 3 slams will be won by either Nadal, Federer or Murray. I dismiss Murray as a RG winner because he sucks on clay big time.

jamie Says:

FO Nadal
Wimbledon Federer
USO Murray

Murray could win his maiden slam this year.

Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

If he loses early in Rome then things might become pretty difficult for Novak to retain his No.1 status. So his performance counts a lot in Rome and then Rolland Garros where he can earn valuable points. But after that he has a lot of things to defend which will be very difficult.

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