Novak Djokovic is in Abu dhabi ready to play his first match at Mubadala World Tennis Championship tomorrow at 3.30pm (12pm CET) and he was talking with the reporters today.
“Right now I can approach a new season with a lot of confidence because I won the last big tournament of the year in London [ATP World Tour Finals] and hoping that I can continue playing well,”
“Last two years were quite different even though I managed to have my best year of my career in 2011, I still knew that it was going to be very hard for me in 2012 to maintain the No1 ranking and try to play consistently well and win Majors, so it was for me maybe an even more successful year from a psychological aspects,”
“I had to face circumstances on and off the court that were not easy and I overcame them and right now I feel relieved because I got another great year, another great experience that I can learn from and I can approach the new season with a lot of confidence because I won the last big tournament of the year in London and hoping that I can continue going well.”
“So ambitions are always high. I want to win every Grand Slam that I play, want to win every big tournament that I play. So there is no difference for the next year’s ambition.”
“It’s going to be another exciting year for men’s tennis. Right now it’s probably one of the most popular sports in the world because of these great rivalries that are still out there, like [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal, [which is] still the biggest rivalry from all active players, there is no doubt. Then of course the other rivalries that have developed over the years, mine with Roger, Rafa and now with Andy [Murray]. So it’s a fantastic time for men’s tennis,”.
“And there is the group of players who are just behind us and have proven on several occasions that they can beat the top players and reach the later stages of the major events — [Juan Martin] Del Potro, [David] Ferrer, [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga, [Tomas] Berdych — those are the guys who are able to win the big matches and take trophies.”
“Roland Garros [the French Open] is always at the top of my priority list and ambitions. It’s the only slam I haven’t won. I played in the final, which is a step further than ever before, this year. It was an incredible final and a great experience also.”
“It’s going to be very tough. I am definitely aware of the fact that the sport itself has become so competitive,”.
“Everybody, looking at all players outside the court, what they do, what they eat, how they treat their teams. The teams around the players are growing. Everyone is becoming more professional, more committed and it’s a modern development and that’s what makes it even more challenging to be at the top for me or any other player.
With this awareness I am going into the new season, but also with a lot of confidence because I have had an incredible few years.”
Djokovic about his rivalry and relationship with Andy Murray: “Considering the fact that there is just a week difference between us (in terms of age) and that we know each other since we were 11 years old I think it gives something more special to that rivalry,”
“Because we’ve known each other that long and grew up together and played in the junior events against each other and I think that something very interesting for people who are watching out matches and also for us.
“We have a very friendly relationship on and off the court. We respect each other and we make each other better players and I hope that we will have many more of those encounters that we’ll be proud of.”