Ahead of his opening match today against Tommy Robredo, 4-time tournament champion Novak Djokovic met the media first for first time since Melbourne. The world No. 1 reflected on what life has been like since holding up a sixth Australian Open title.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time with my wife and child, leaving my racquet on the side,” Djokovic said. “It’s important to re-group, in order to prepare for the next three or four months. I went two weeks without touching a racquet… I am eager to come back and compete. I missed it.
“What I take out of the Australian Open is the last three matches. It makes me feel very pleased that after a tough fourth round in five sets, I was able to play the best tennis when it was needed. It satisfies me very much. You expect to be emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of a Grand Slam, but I felt very consistent, strong and solid.”
Djokovic is currently the runaway No. 1 and he’s made the finals at 17 straight tournaments.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Djokovic said of his dominant run. “I expect a lot from myself. I put a lot of dedication in to get the results that I’ve had. I try to approach each tournament optimistically and I believe I can win every match that I can play, on any surface. The results I’ve had and the tournaments I’ve won over the past couple of years give me enough reason to be optimistic.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I try not to be over-confident, as I have lots of respect for other players and I realise I’m not the only one who wants to be World No. 1. But being at the peak of my career at the moment, I’m trying to use this momentum that I have, take everything out of myself, and achieve more. To what extent? Where is it going? I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it too much.
“I’d still like to keep the same approach and philosophy that I’ve had, being in the present and only focusing on the next tournament.”
Djokovic has made the Dubai finals five times, winning four but falling in the final last year. He is 12-0 on the season and stands just two match wins from the 700 career mark.
With 7-time champion Roger Federer resting after knee surgery, Djokovic leads a field which includes Stan Wawrinka and 2-time finalist Tomas Berdych. Former finalist Feliciano Lopez is also in the event.
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