Djokovic: I like playing in Australia but never had good results

Finishing the 2006 season in the top-20, Novak Djokovic was hungry for more at the beginning of 2007 after a productive offseason. Despite a small shoulder injury, the young Serb won the third ATP title in Auckland and was among those who were hoping for a deep run in Melbourne as well after two early exits at the Australian Open in 2005 and 2006.

At the first Major of the season, Novak destroyed Nicolas Massu in the first round, giving away only two games for a great start and conquering Feliciano Lopez in the second round in straight sets to reach the last 32. In the battle for the place in the fourth round, Novak took down Danai Udomchoke 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in two hours and 45 minutes, controlling the pace almost all the time to set the clash against Roger Federer.

Djokovic fended off six out of nine break chances and grabbed seven breaks from 15 opportunities to march through. The youngster had a chance to seal the deal in straight sets, serving for the victory in the third before Udomchoke bounced back to steal the set and stay in contention.

Still, he had nothing left in the tank in the fourth set, propelling Djokovic into the last 16 where he would face Roger Federer. “I had a pretty good offseason. I finished the previous season in Paris and went on holiday in the next 15 days.

After that, I started working on my fitness, the essential element of the pre-season preparations. I also worked on my serve, volleys and net approaches and I think I have improved a lot. Results are showing that I have done everything right so far.

I like playing in Australia but never had good results here. Now, I’m still unbeaten in 2007 and that’s a good thing. During the pre-season preparations, I spent some time on the mountain and then went to Austria for an exho event.

After that, I started to work on the court more and more in Monte Carlo and I think I did a great job. I’m feeling great, having that small shoulder injury but nothing too serious as I will take some rest when I get back home after Melbourne.”

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