If Novak Djokovic wants to win a sixth Indian Wells title and fourth straight, he’s got his work cut out for him. Djokovic is in the “Quarter of Death” which also features Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios who just beat him last week in Acapulco.
“I haven’t had too many draws like that,” said Djokovic. “It’s quite amazing to see that many quality players in one section of the draw. It is what it is. Obviously Nadal and Federer are just starting to re-build their rankings. We’ll see what happens in the first few days of the tournament and we’ll have some very strong matches. This is probably one of the toughest draws we’ve had.
“It’s a very strong field. This is one of the strongest tournaments we have in the sport. Everyone wants to do well. The draw is something you have to accept and deal with.”
Speaking to the media Thursday, Djokovic also reflected on what has been a tough six months.
“I feel much better in terms of game, in terms of mental side, than I was some months ago,” Djokovic said. “Generally, if I see myself with a broader perspective today and comparing myself to the end of last season, I’m a different player. I feel more comfortable, more fresh. I look forward to competing and I feel more confident on the court.
“I had to re-motivate myself and get back on track and I feel like right now it’s much better than it was.”
And he says he’s still hungry to win.
“If I’m not hungry to have success in this sport, I wouldn’t be sat here talking to the media and playing this tournament,” he said. “I’ve achieved so much in my career that I’m obviously very content and I could easily stop today and say, ‘it’s been enough’. But I keep going because I have that drive in me still and I have that flair. As long as that’s present, I’ll keep on playing.”
Djokovic, who is in doubles Friday, opens singles play Sunday against either Kyle Edmund or Gastao Elias. He was just one title (Doha) in the last seven months. He is not just defending Indian Wells title points this month, but also Miami.
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