Djokovic looks to wrap up remarkable year in style


The Wimbledon champion, in town for the ATP World Tour Finals, is contemplating revisiting the scene of his proudest triumph for a cup of tea.


By Nicolas Atkin

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic is looking to cap the most successful year of his career by winning the London ATP World Tour Finals.

The world no. 1 faces stiff competition from Rafael Nadal, in-form Andy Murray and resurgent Roger Federer, who won his maiden Paris Masters title last week.

The tournament between the world’s top eight players kicks off at the O2 Arena tomorrow, and while Djokovic has had a tiring year he will not be resting on his laurels.

He said: “I always have the motivation and the love for the sport. I want to win, regardless whether it is a Grand Slam or any other event.”

This year, the Serbian captured the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, with ATP titles in Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Belgrade, Madrid, Rome, and Montreal.

“For me, there is no better feeling than stepping on a tennis court and getting a win from every single match,” he continued.

Djokovic’s opening fixture sees him facing Tomas Berdych in Monday’s evening session.

He said: “It’s going to be tough for both of us. Tomas has had some great results, especially last week in Paris.

“He’s in great form and is somebody who has been around the top ten for the last five, six years and he likes playing indoors.”

Djokovic must surely fancy his chances, though, and winning the ATP Finals would be a perfect end to a remarkable 2011.

“Everybody agrees this tournament is the crown for all the achievements of the year,” said Djokovic.

“It’s been the best of my career but it’s still not over, this is another important event to be part of and I will try to do my best.

“Obviously I come with the highest expectations because of the year I had.”

However, niggling shoulder and abdominal injuries threatened Djokovic’s chances, but the Serb is confident the problems have healed.

He said: “I have been serving 100 per cent in the last two to three days so the shoulder is fine at this moment, it is recovered and ready to compete.”

Djokovic will enjoy some well-earned rest after this week’s event, but his thoughts are already turning to what he can achieve in 2012.

He said: “I cannot predict, but for sure I am going to do my best to try to get as close as possible.

“It is a tough ask but it is a new year and I can only turn around and be positive and proud of what I have achieved.

“That can only give me a lot of confidence for what is coming up. I know that I have more expectation and more responsibility but I am ready for it.”

And frighteningly for the pretenders to Djokovic’s throne, the Serb is warning he can raise his game further.

He said: “It is always possible to get better. My game is a complete game but I feel I still have room for improvement.”

With a day off to recover between matches, Djokovic is contemplating a day trip to the scene of his proudest triumph while he is in town.

He said: “I have been thinking of going to Wimbledon to have a cup of tea and really experience Wimbledon when it is a little bit different from the tournament.

“It is just the most valuable event that you can think of in our sport. That was always the tournament that I dreamed of winning.”

He added: “I had the best tournament of my career and the feeling was unbelievable for me and my team.”

To savour the moment, Djokovic put in a cheeky request for a memorable souvenir.

He said: “I asked the groundsman if I could have a piece of the [Centre Court] grass. I could not get that but in return I got the net from the final and I keep it in a very special place at home.”

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