Nole still reflecting on Melbourne final
Originally published on: 08/03/12 16:42
The physical efforts he made at the Australian Open may be behind him, but Novak Djokovic admits it has been difficult not to keep thinking about his extraordinary final weekend in Melbourne. Having beaten Andy Murray in a Friday night semi-final that lasted four hours and 50 minutes, Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal two days later in the longest Grand Slam final in history, lasting just seven minutes short of six hours.
“Obviously the final was most exciting and the longest match I’ve ever played, but it didn’t honestly take me that long to recover,” Djokovic said. “I think I recovered quite quickly. But that wasn’t on my mind actually. I was always trying to go back and reflect on the memories from Friday night and Sunday night – or Monday morning actually. It was quite a magnificent historic moment, not just for me but I think for Nadal as well, and a match that I think will always be remembered.”
In the wake of the Australian Open Djokovic went skiing in the Serbian mountains, spent time with friends and went to London to collect a Laureus award. When he returned to competition in last week’s Dubai Duty Free Championships he suffered his first defeat of the year, losing to Murray in the semi-finals.
However, Djokovic insists that his off-the-court interests are not having a detrimental effect on his tennis. “I’ve been having a lot of off-court activities since I became No.1, but I have a team of people that controls it well,” he said. “Obviously there are a lot of temptations and a lot of things that you can enjoy, but it’s normal. You can’t on the one hand just commit 100 per cent of your life to tennis. You’re young. You have to enjoy life. You have to experience some other things.”
He added: “We do play tennis. It’s a very demanding sport, especially now. It’s very high intensity. You have to be committed to the sport as much as you can. You have to be professional. But in my case, I like to balance things.”