Novak Djokovic notched his 700th tour-level win in style on Wednesday night as he defeated Malek Jaziri 6-1, 6-2 in 65 min utes to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
He is only the 12th player in the Open Era (since 1968) to hit the 700 singles victories mark.
“The first set and a half I enjoyed it, and then I started missing a lot of forehands, easy forehands from midcourt,” said Djokovic. “It frustrated me, honestly, a little bit. But I managed to win the match. I will take the positives out of tonight’s match and hopefully I will be able to raise my game even more.”
About his match with Feliciano Lopez, Nole said: “I know he likes playing here and likes the conditions. He slices, and the ball travels through the air quickly and you’ve got to be very reactive, very quick with the baseline shots, especially when you play somebody like Feliciano, who comes in very often.
“I’m going to try to prepare for this match well and raise the game a little bit more than tonight.”
At 28 years, nine months, he is the third active player to pass the milestone, following in the footsteps of his celebrated rivals, Roger Federer (1,067) and Rafael Nadal (775).
“Every milestone is special and it gives you an extra incentive and motivation to play well,” Djokovic told ATPWorldTour.com. “Being a part of the history books is a huge honour and is something that is always present, even though you try not to focus all your attention on the record-breaking opportunities. You use it for motivation and to push yourself to give your best.”
Nole has reached 19 finals from his past 20 tournaments, including 17 straight that currently ties him with Federer’s mark in 2005-06. Ivan Lendl’s record of 18 consecutive title matches in 1981-82 is in danger, particularly with Djokovic competing this week as a five-time Dubai finalist (4-1 record).
“I have tried to use the confidence that I have had, especially in the past couple of years, to see where I can reach,” Djokovic told ATPWorldTour.com. “I’ve set a very high standard for myself. Being 28 and at the peak of my abilities, I have all the reasons to believe I can stay at the top as long as I can. I know I won’t stay there forever, but I am working hard and am very committed to maintain my lifestyle and sacrifice.”
Djokovic has spent a total of 187 weeks at No. 1, over three spells – 53 weeks from 4 July 2011, 48 weeks from 4 November 2012 and his current streak of 86 weeks since 7 July 2014. He leads fellow 28-year-old Murray by 7,935 points and is at No. 5 in the all-time list for most weeks spent at No. 1, behind Jimmy Connors (268), Lendl (270), Pete Sampras (286) and Federer (302).
“It is a privilege having pressure, being a part of this beautiful sport,” Djokovic added. “I am very grateful to have played tennis since I was four years old, when I began to dream of being World No. 1 and a multiple Grand Slam champion.”
Boris Becker said : “His dedication to training, to figuring out ways to improve is exceptional. His life is dedicated to tennis and being the best.”
source: atpworldtour.com; twitter.com/ddftennis