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Novak Djokovic Address the Press at the Sony Open

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Novak Djokovic Address the Press at the Sony Open


Three time Sony Open Tennis champion Novak Djokovic met with the press in Miami prior to his first round match on Friday.  Djokovic revealed that his coach Boris Becker will not be in Miami as he is undergoing surgery on both of his hips.

Djokovic responded to questions regarding the resurgence of Roger Federer, Andy Murray splitting with Ivan Lendl and the future of Juan Martin Del Potro.

Here is the complete interview :

Q.  Can you tell us a little bit about Boris.  We hear that he’s been unable to travel. 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, he’s unable to travel.  He has surgery of his both hips today and tomorrow, so that’s unfortunate.  He couldn’t come.

Q.  But was that expected? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, he was supposed to come here.  Basically in the finals of Indian Wells he called us and said that he had an emergency and he has to operate both hips.

Q.  How will this affect or will it affect you and Boris going forward?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, no, he’s going to be in MonteCarlo, and the schedule for the tournaments that he committed before the start of the season, he will be there, you know, unless his health doesn’t allow him.

Of course, in these particular situations you can’t do much about it.  If he has to operate his hips, he cannot move, cannot walk, unfortunately.  It’s been something that it’s kind of an issue that has been  issue he’s been carrying for many years already.

If he is able, he’s going to be in MonteCarlo already.  Everything stays the same.

Q.  People will look at what you did in Indian Wells and say, Well, you didn’t miss Boris much, but I guess what he has done in the buildup contributed to that success. 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, absolutely.  Well, first of all, I mean, Boris is a head coach, and this was not only my own decision.  It was actually Marian’s proposal from the start, because as I was saying before, he has been on the tour as a player and coach 30 years.  It’s been a very long time for him.

He wanted to spend more time with his family, and it was time for me to kind of try to get somebody that is able to commit for more tournaments than Marian.

So when Marian was still around, as you see, it was planned for him to be in Indian Wells; now he’s in Miami because of this situation.  But they split tournaments.  I mean, Boris is supposed to travel to more tournaments.

They have a very good communication and relationship, and I’m happy with the way it all has started.  Obviously the start of the season I haven’t won Australian Open as it was the case in last, previous three years, but, you know, it’s a sport.

I feel that I’m playing good on the court.  It’s just a matter of time when things are going to click.  I’m glad that I already  they already have clicked in Indian Wells.  I have had a great two weeks, and the benefits and the effects of our incorporation, Boris and mine, hopefully we will see in the rest of the season.

Q.  I wanted to ask you about Roger’s resurgence.  You just played him, and some people had already just not counted him out or were starting to write him off the Big 4 and all that.  Can you talk about him and just having played him.  What do you see in his game different, and that he’s sort of back?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  Well, I think he’s playing in a high level this year.  He’s back to his normal level, you know, the level that he had for seven, eight years while he was so dominant in men’s tennis.  Obviously last season he was not as good for his standards.

You know, but this year he started strong.  He won the title in Dubai and played semis of Australian Open.  I can feel that he’s striking the ball very cleanly.  He’s very confident on the court and he has improved his backhand I think.

Maybe it’s the racquet or something else, but he definitely has more depth on that shot.  He’s going more for his topspins rather than slicing it.  You know, of course, with his immense experience and success that he had in his career, he’s never to be ruled out.

Doesn’t matter how old he is.  It’s just a number.  As he was saying, he feels good on the court.  He’s fit.  He’s definitely one of the best players in the world now.

Q.  Were you as surprised as we were about Andy Murray’s split with Ivan Lendl?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, to be honest, I was not surprised.  But, again, I didn’t know what to expect.  They worked for two years, and obviously it brought both of them, especially Andy, a lot of success on the court.  He won Olympic Games, won a few Grand Slams.  I think it was a very good decision from inside to be working with Ivan.

Now they split.  I mean, they obviously had a good reason for that.  I’m not the one who should judge.

Q.  Do you think their success was one of the reasons why there are suddenly so many names… 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Maybe.  But I was saying that that was not the motivation behind me hiring Boris Becker.  As I said before, it was a kind of a course in our relationship between Marian and myself where, you know, we came to the point where we had to think of an alternative option.  We had to think about somebody stepping into our team.

That was the main reason why we hired Boris.

Q.  How important is playing with this environment in Miami?  Different for all of you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It is different tournament.  It’s actually one of the nicest ones we have on tour.  It’s a lot of fun, a lot of entertainment, very international crowd.

I have had much success in this city before I won my first big title back in 2007.  I remember here was my first Masters 1000 event.  So I have really good memories.

I always look forward coming back to Miami this time of the year.  It’s nice weather.  As I said, a lot of fun on and off the court.

Q.  Now that a couple of days has passed since Indian Wells, how much of a boost is that for you confidencewise and a bit of a relief?  I know winning titles is nothing new to you, but an estrangement at the start of this year.  How much of a confidence boost is that for you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it is, in some kind, a relief for me, because I haven’t had a title this year up to Indian Wells.  Indian Wells final was the first final of the year.  I haven’t played many tournaments; I haven’t played many matches.

So I knew I’m playing well.  I had incredible end of 2013, so I did have confidence.  But I started a little bit doubting myself on the court.  You know, I was struggling a little bit with my, I would say, consistency and the concentration.  Throughout the tournament also I had ups and downs, but I managed to win four out of six matches in three sets.

Mentally it’s a very encouraging win that gives me confidence and that also, you know, is very special in a way.  This time of the year I needed it very much, and hopefully I can carry that into this week.

Q.  Juan Martin Del Potro, have you talked to him, about his future?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I talked to him a little bit a few days ago.  He was uncertain if he’s going to play or not.  Now he’s not playing, so, yeah, it’s really unfortunate.

I think it’s the other wrist, because he had problems with one wrist and now it’s the other one.  He’s a very tall, tall guy, and for him playing many tournaments in a high level week in and week out is very difficult.

His body is suffering, and it’s unfortunate that somebody of his quality is not performing here.  Also Indian Wells.  Tennis definitely misses him.  He’s always one of the contenders to win big titles.  He’s very entertaining to watch.  He’s a nice guy.

I wish him all the best and quick recovery.

Q.  We’re doing a story on fashion in tennis, and we have seen it transcend, you know, Agassi with the denim shorts.  You had the Darth Vader look.  A, what is your inspiration when you go into designing your own clothes?  And, B, how important is it for all of you guys to differentiate you guys with your style?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, well, you mentioned Andre Agassi.  I mean, he definitely revolutionalized the fashion in tennis.  He was the first one to dress differently and to have some kind of statement on the court.

Well, I have been through a process in my career, as well.  I had different dragons and wings on my shirts (smiling).

But I’m at a different stage right now.  Of course I’m very much involved in giving  trying to give my input as much as I can to design my own clothes.  I’m fortunate to have a really good team of people and designers from Uniqlo Company who represents me the last two years.

There is various, I will say, inspirations behind the certain designs for different periods of the year depending on color of the surface, depending on the time of the year, depending where we go, color of Serbian flags, so forth and so forth.

So there are different sources of inspiration we are trying to put into the design and kind of create something that looks nice on the court.

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Murray Finally Snares Elusive Wimbledon Trophy

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Murray Finally Snares Elusive Wimbledon Trophy


Image ©CameraSport

Image ©CameraSport

For over seven decades, since 1936 to be precise, Great Britain has been restless for a homegrown male victor at the All-England Club. Today, it got to uncork that seventy-seven year old bottle of bubbly as Andy Murray held off Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to claim his initial Wimbledon title and his second career major.

Last season after the disappointment of losing in the Wimbledon final, Murray bested Djokovic in the semifinals and Roger Federer in the next round to earn Olympic Gold in London a few months later. That feat along with having a major under his belt, the 2012 U.S. Open, were undoubtedly confidence boosters as Murray sauntered on the court to compete.

With Rafael Nadal and Federer knocked out in the first and second round respectively, Murray was expected to walk into the final. However, in the quarterfinals, the Brit had to overcome a 2 sets to none deficit against Fernando Verdasco. Also, in the semifinals, Murray surrendered the first set before ultimately taking control against newcomer Jerzy Janowicz.

Subsequent to beating all comers in straight sets, Djokovic needed five against an injured Juan Martin Del Potro who kept coming back from the brink in the longest semifinal in the tournament’s existence 4 hours and 43 minutes.

When Djokovic and Murray collided in the 2013 Australian Open final, Murray never broke despite a myriad of chances. So, when triple break point for Murray came and went in the opening game, the nail biting began for the spectators.

Later, with a forehand up the line volley winner, Murray had his seventh break point of the initial set. He converted with a backhand down the line winner. However, the public’s joy was ephemeral. Because of a slew of miscues, Murray dropped the next game at love and the set was leveled at 2 all.

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Nadal Wins an Unprecedented Eighth French Open Crown

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Nadal Wins an Unprecedented Eighth French Open Crown



At the French Open, there is no doubt who reigns supreme. With a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory over countryman David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal pocketed his eighth title at Roland Garros becoming the first man in history to capture the same major that many times.

In route to his maiden major final, 31 year old Ferrer dispatched all comers in three sets. The world number five even thumped hometown favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals after the latter dismissed Roger Federer.

To the contrary, Nadal needed 4 hours and 37 minutes to overcome world number one Novak Djokovic in the semifinals in a five set thriller where Djokovic led 4-2 in the last set.

The first final since 2004 to feature two men from the same nation, when Gaston Gaudio tussled with fellow Argentine Guillermo Coria, debuted promisingly with Ferrer opening the proceedings with a love hold.

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Del Potro Upset, Djokovic Advances at Sony Open

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Del Potro Upset, Djokovic Advances at Sony Open


IMG_4201_DelPotro
Miami, FL Ricky Dimon

No Roger Federer, no Rafael Nadal, and now no Juan Martin Del Potro. Always a marquee draw, especially at a tournament sometimes known as “the Latin American slam,” Del Potro lost his opening match at the Sony Open on Friday evening. The Argentine lost to Tobias Kamke 7-6(5), 6-1 in one hour and 50 minutes.

Del Potro, coming off a runner-up finish in Indian Wells, led 5-2 in the first set and even had two set points in the eighth game. Not only did the world No. 7 fail to close the deal, but he also squandered a mini-break lead in the ensuing tiebreaker. After a rain delay halted play for two hours in between sets, a listless Del Potro had nothing left in the tank. Kamke raced to a 5-0 advantage before serving out the match with a routine hold at 5-1.

“I made a lot of mistakes,” Del Potro assured. “I was excited to play here, but it was just a bad day and he played really well. I think he deserved to win and it’s okay.”

Although the German’s victory made for a shocking result, it was by no means the most bizarre event of the day. Early on in the night session, not long after Del Potro’s setback, a power outage blacked out the grounds and delayed the action yet again, this time for 30 minutes.

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Novak Djokovic Fields Media Questions at Sony Open

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Novak Djokovic Fields Media Questions at Sony Open



©Mauricio Paiz

Photo ©Mauricio Paiz

Two time defending Sony Open Tennis champion Novak Djokovic begins his title defense on Friday. Prior to his first match in Miami, the world number one player sat down with members of the media on Wednesday afternoon. Djokovic answered questions about the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in Miami, a potential semifinal encounter with Juan Martin Del Potro and the upcoming Serbia vs. US Davis Cup match.

He concluded the interview by asking members of the media to smile for a picture to post on his twitter account. You can see the picture by clicking here.

Here is the complete interview with Djokovic :

Q. How do you feel playing this tournament without Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s the same for me. I look forward to this tournament and I have had plenty of success in Sony Ericsson Open in last five, six years. It’s the first Masters title that I won in 2007, and I’m sure that even without them we will have a great tournament.

Q. How are you feeling here and the courts and everything? Have you been here a few days?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I practiced, and actually going to practice now again. I like it. I like the conditions. It can be quite humid, but, you know, these weather conditions are different from Indian Wells and from other tournaments, which is normal to expect. It’s not the first time I’m in Miami. So as I said, I had plenty of success in the past. That gives me a reason to believe I can do well again in this tournament.

Q. I’d like to know about your yoga. Is it true you practice yoga every day?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

Q. I’d like to know since when and how does it help you in your tennis?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don’t spend much time doing it. I do a combination of stretching and exercise, breathing exercises and something that can, you know, help me align myself and find the inner peace and also work on this breathing through movements kind of exercise, you know, that can improve my flexibility and better movement of the joints. That’s what I use it for, and I like it.

Q. Would you consider Sony Open to be a fifth Grand Slam?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s difficult to say, because there are eight, nine 1000s, or as they used to call them, Masters tournaments, that are kind of the same level. It’s tough to pick one which is just behind the Grand Slams. But if you have to make a small group of tournaments out of this eight, nine tournaments, you know, Masters level, Miami would be definitely one of them that is just behind Grand Slams.

Q. Today the US Open or the USTA announced the US Open will increase their prize money quite a lot through the next few years, and also that starting 2015 they will be in line with the same schedule of Thursday/Saturday for the guys, Friday/Sunday for the girls and a Monday final. Your reaction?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, we have been talking with them for quite a while now, and it’s a positive step to see the prize money increase. It’s a good response, and it’s, you know, a reaction from US Open towards the players’ demands and desires. And as I said before, we all have to stay united. We all have to try not just as players, but also the people from the tournament side to work towards improving this game and the world of tennis. So, you know, Grand Slams are huge competitions. They are over two weeks long and there are a lot of benefits. Without players, those benefits are not possible. So I’m sure that a lot of players will be happy with this prize money increase. And to be honest, me personally, I am not happy with a Monday final. But it is the way it is for next two years. I think we have to accept it, and then after that, it all goes back to normal hopefully for Sunday final like every Grand Slam has.

Q. Can we go back to Indian Wells for just a second? After your loss, you had said that lack of concentration and focus was probably, you know, the main reason. How often does that happen to you, and are you generally able to pull yourself out? How difficult is it to sustain such a high level of concentration on a consistent basis?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think it’s the biggest challenge for a tennis player. At this level you have to be consistently successful, and in order to be consistently successful to be one of the contenders for top place, you have to be concentrated from the first to the last point in every match that you play. Most of the matches that you play, in the opening rounds especially, you’re the clear favorite to win those, and that’s where it can be quite dangerous because the lower‑ranked players have nothing to lose against you. You are going into the court knowing that you’re expected to win.

You know, it’s not an easy thing ‑‑ it’s easier said than done, really, to go out there and keep the focus going and try to stay grounded, and, you know, fight for every point regardless who is across the net.

So that’s why it’s a big challenge. But it happens. It happens to everybody. Everybody has ups and downs through the match, through their careers, you know. I have lost my match in Indian Wells, a very close match, almost three hours against a Grand Slam champion, you know, against an established top‑10 player, Del Potro. I haven’t lost against, you know, a less quality player.

But, again, a few points decided the win. I could have prevailed, but I didn’t. That’s sport. You know, when you lose you try to understand what you did wrong so you can get better for the next one.

Q. Beyond the tennis, how do you like coming to Miami? What’s your favorite thing about Miami other than playing the matches here?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There is a great energy about the city. You know, I have been staying in Key Biscayne Island for last few years, so most of my whereabouts are here on the island because of the tennis.

It’s very convenient, very close to the hotel, beautiful weather. Obviously South Beach is something ‑‑ is a very special location in the city where you get to have a lot of great restaurants, places to see, to visit, a lot of young people. Just a very alive city. It’s interesting to see. It’s interesting to always see and visit once in a while.

Q. Just going back to the USTA, is that more evidence that the players are really kind of working together at the moment and getting a lot of progress made on that kind of issue?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Indeed. It’s a very positive step for players. You know, it proves that players I think are more united than ever. I believe that these are some significant changes, you know, in the negotiations with Grand Slams.

It hasn’t happened for I think ever or for many, many years that we have such increases. We just feel like we deserve it. You know, there is a lot of players, not just the top players, but a lot of players who are in top 100, top 200, who deserve to, you know, have a better living from this sport.

You know, so this is, as I said, a great, great move forward, and hopefully we can achieve many more things together.

Q. On your match against Juan Martin Del Potro last week, what are your thoughts on his level of play, and what would you do different in case you encounter here in semifinals?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s still a long way to talk about eventual semifinal matchup with Juan Martin. Still have to win many matches to that point, as well as he does.

As I said, a few points really decide the winner in Indian Wells. I was 3‑Love up in the third set and had some game points for 5‑4 in the third, and then, you know, he also played really well. There’s no question about it.

He deserved to win, because in the important moments he was the player who stepped in, who was going for the shots and being more aggressive, and that’s why he deserved to be a winner.

Q. We know what you do really well, but if there are things you don’t do well and can’t do and you’d like to turn that around and do some of those things really well, what would that be?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Hmm. Well, your best change is day to day, right? You can’t always expect yourself to play on the 100% of your abilities, you know, and you try to adjust to the feeling that you have that day, you know, kind of general feeling, and you try to maximize your possibilities.

There are things that are always open in my game for improvement. There is room for improvement. I feel that I still can improve a lot of shots in my game, you know. I still feel that I can serve maybe better in some moments. I still feel that maybe I can come to the net a bit more often.

So it’s actually very encouraging for me, because I like to work, you know. I like to practice and try to improve my game and get my game to best possible level. So that’s a positive, you know.

Q. I was meaning not in tennis.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sorry. You should have jumped into my answer before. (Smiling.)

Q. I didn’t want to interrupt you.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not in tennis?

Q. Yeah.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: But in what way?

Q. You know, let’s say you’re a bad singer and that’s what you would really like to excel at, that sort of thing. Like Serena said, she can’t sing and she’d love to sing. So something you can’t do you don’t do well but you’d like to really do well.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Pause.) Okay. That’s a good question. I love all the sports, so I would love to play golf and basketball a little bit better. Even though I love cooking, I think I’m not so good at it. So I think I have to improve there. That’s enough. I will tell you in the next one when I think about it a little bit more.

Q. Considering the big start of the season of Juan Martin Del Potro, do you think he’s coming this year to approach finally the top four players?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It can be, but I don’t think anybody can really predict what’s going to happen. If he has the quality to do that? Yes, he does. He has the potential. He’s an all‑round player who can play equally well on any surface and he has proven that last few years.

Now it really depends, you know, if he can sustain this level and physically be fit enough to play on that high level throughout the whole year, because that’s what it takes to, you know, to be in top four.

Q. If I can ask you to look ahead a little to the Davis Cup and your thoughts on that, and if you know anything about Boise and what Idaho is famous for.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, been asked that question in Indian Wells. I know that Boise is famous for its potatoes. I’m looking forward to some good mashed potatoes there. (Laughter.)

Yeah, it’s not a big place, but they say that they have a huge stadium, like capacity of 12,000 people. Hopefully it’s going to be a full, packed house, because you always like to see many people coming to watch tennis. It’s going to be the first time that we all go to Idaho.

I have some friends who live in Sun Valley which is close by. I wish I had a little more time so I can go and ski a little bit.

But, you know, considering the Davis Cup tie against United States, who is the most successful country in the world in that competition, I think that fact says enough about the quality of and the tradition that this country possess about this competition, about this sport in general.

Even though they don’t have a top‑10 player, but still they have good quality players, like Isner and Querrey who are showing their great potential always when they play in Davis Cup.

I mean, Isner beat Federer; he beat Simon; he beat the top guys in Davis Cup. He loves to play for his country. It will be in an altitude over 800 meters, I think. That goes to their favor I think because of the big serves.

Anything is possible, really. I mean, for now, I am committed to Davis Cup. I will first try to focus on this tournament, see how I go, but the way things stand I want to play and I want to bring my country another win.

And before we go, can we just make a photo for Twitter from here? You all have to smile, please.

Everybody, smile.

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Djokovic Captures Historic Third Successive Australian Open Title

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Djokovic Captures Historic Third Successive Australian Open Title



Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Australian Open to become the first player in the Open Era to hoist that trophy three years in a row.

With extensive baseline rallies, a well contested opening set left Djokovic with a sour taste after he failed to capitalize on four break points in the sixth game and another in the eighth. Ultimately, the set was settled by a tiebreaker.

As a result of a double fault, Djokovic spotted his opponent a 1-0 advantage. From there, Murray took full advantage and ran away with the tiebreaker 7-2.

Subsequent to a love hold, Murray had triple break point courtesy of a litany of miscues by Djokovic, By reverting to his defensive style, Murray wasted those opportunities which allowed Djokovic to guard serve for 1 all.

As the second set progressed, each player dug in and protected serve quite comfortably. Again, a tiebreaker was needed to decide the set’s winner.

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Number One Ranking at Stake for Djokovic, Nadal and Federer at Wimbledon

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Number One Ranking at Stake for Djokovic, Nadal and Federer at Wimbledon


The fight to be king of the mountain will be settled at the All England Club. After a brilliant 2011 season, defending champion Novak Djokovic is under menace from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who are vying to strip away the Serb’s number one ranking. The Wimbledon draw has been released and for these three rivals, the path to the summit is a winding one.

For the second straight major, Djokovic and Federer are destined to clash in the semifinals. Djokovic has bested the Swiss six of the last seven times they’ve met. As such, Federer will need to conquer his mental demons if he hopes to get to the final.
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Nadal Stands Alone with his Historic Seventh French Open Title

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Nadal Stands Alone with his Historic Seventh French Open Title


Roger Federer learned the lesson in 2006 and again in 2007. Today, it was Novak Djokovic’s turn. With clay virtuoso Rafael Nadal around to dream of a calendar grand slam or owning all four majors at once is pointless. Nadal prevailed 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 over Djokovic to earn his 11th major and a record seventh French Open trophy.

Regardless of the outcome, history would be made at Roland Garros. World number one Djokovic was vying to be the third player in three years to attain the career grand slam and the first since Rod Laver to hold all four majors simultaneously. For his part, Nadal was seeking to surpass Bjorn Borg and become the winningest male.
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Djokovic Retains Sony Ericsson Open Title

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Djokovic Retains Sony Ericsson Open Title



Novak Djokovic banked his 30th ATP title in Miami. The world number one downed Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6 to capture his third trophy at the Sony Ericsson Open. Djokovic became the first player to successfully defend at this event since Roger Federer in 2005-2006.

This was a repeat of the 2009 Miami final. On that occasion, Murray hoisted the big prize. The Brit was appearing in his third final of 2012, victorious in Brisbane and beaten by Federer in Dubai.

At this juncture in 2011, Djokovic was 24-0 with the Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open under his belt. Since winning at the Australian Open, Djokovic has had two defeats, each in the semifinal stage, one of them to Murray.

Out of nowhere in the opening set, after leading 40-0, Murray made two consecutive backhand errors and allowed Djokovic to later get to deuce. Down the road, three successive backhand miscues by Murray resulted in Djokovic converting.
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Roddick Halts Federer at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Roddick Halts Federer at the Sony Ericsson Open



With a record of 21-2 against Andy Roddick, Roger Federer who has been in superb form this season should have taken care of his rival in the third round. Instead, Roddick upended Federer 7-6,1-6,6-4 to advance to the fourth round at the Sony Ericsson Open.

The last time Roddick was victorious over Federer was a night session also at the Miami Masters in 2008. Since then, Federer has won their six meetings including a heartbreaker in the final of Wimbledon in 2009.

In the third game of the opening set, Federer had double break point. But, Roddick did not flinch and eventually held. With no further break chances for either player, the first set went to a tiebreaker.
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