Nole in ‘peak form’ ahead of clay swing
Originally published on: 02/04/12 11:50
Novak Djokovic believes his victory over Andy Murray in the final of the Miami Masters 1000 event will be the perfect preparation for his latest attempt to rewrite the tennis record books. The leading players now head for the European clay-court season, at the end of which Djokovic will be hoping to become the first man for 53 years to hold all four Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic will begin his clay-court campaign in a fortnight’s time at the Monte Carlo Masters, his hometown event. He missed the tournament last year, when it started just a week after Miami, and welcomes the fact that he will have an extra week to prepare for it this time.
“I’m going to have more confidence coming into the Monte Carlo tournament,” Djokovic said after claiming the Miami title for a third time. “I didn’t play there last year and I’m looking forward to it. I want to start well. I want to start strong. I want to go deep in the tournament. There are a lot of tournaments coming up. Obviously Roland Garros, the Olympics and Wimbledon are top of the priority list, but I still want to perform well at all the others.”
Although he has lost twice this year – having not lost until the semi-finals of the French Open in 2011 – Djokovic is happy with his form. He has successfully defended his Australian Open and Miami titles and reached the semi-finals on his two other appearances, at Dubai and Indian Wells.
“I’m playing at the peak of my form and I’m playing the best tennis that I have played,” Djokovic said. “I have to use that as much as I can, coming into every tournament that I play. I believe the competition is getting stronger. Everybody is so professional nowadays. You have the top players playing in all the top events. That wasn’t the case maybe five or 10 years ago, so that makes it even tougher for anybody to win a title, but I’m ready for it.”