Friday March 22, 2013
Djokovic out to get back to winning ways in Miami
MIAMI: Novak Djokovic is looking to bounce back at the ATP Miami Masters after his 22-match win streak was ended last week at Indian Wells and the absence of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is no problem.
Nadal wants to rest his weary knees after a comeback that has seen him win three titles, including last Sundayís Indian Wells final, and 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer is skipping Miami as well as the clay court season looms.
ďItís the same for me,Ē world No. 1 Djokovic said. ďIím sure that even without them we will have a great tournament.Ē
Djokovic will try to claim his fourth Miami title while Serena Williams attempts to take her sixth career crown at the US$8.5mil ATP and WTA event that began on Tuesday and provides first-round byes to seeded players.
ďI look forward to this tournament and Iíve had plenty of success,Ē Djokovic said. ďThat gives me a reason to believe I can do well again.Ē
Djokovic opens today against Czech Lukas Rosol ó who stunned Nadal at Wimbledon last year.
Argentinaís Juan Martin del Potro ended the Serbís win streak 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in an Indian Wells semi-final last Saturday. Djokovic had not lost a match since falling to American Sam Querrey at the Paris Masters on October 31.
His 17-match victories this year included a fourth Australian Open title run and a triumph in Dubai.
ďItís not an easy thing, itís easier said than done really, to go out there and keep the focus going and try to stay grounded and fight for every point regardless who is across the net,Ē Djokovic said.
ďSo thatís why itís a big challenge. But it happens. I lost my match in Indian Wells, a very close match, almost three hours against a Grand Slam champion, an established top 10 player.
ďA few points decided the win. I could have prevailed. But I didnít. Thatís sport. When you lose you try to understand what you did wrong so you can get better for the next one.Ē
Djokovic was pleased at the US Openís announcement that it will boost prize money to US$50mil by 2017 and change the schedule to finish with a Sunday final in 2015 after playing a Monday menís final this year and next.
ďItís a positive step to see the prize money increase. Itís a good response, and itís a reaction from the US Open towards the playersí demands and desires,Ē said Djokovic.
ďItís a very positive step for players. It proves that players are more united than ever. It hasnít happened for ever or for many, many years that we have such increases. We just feel like we deserve it.
ďNot just the top players, but a lot of players who are in the top 100, top 200, deserve to have a better living from this sport. This is a great move forward.
ďGrand 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 Iím sure that a lot of players will be happy with this prize money increase.Ē
And Djokovic, for one, will welcome a Sunday final after rain delays have pushed the past five finals to Monday and scheduling has ensured at least two more that will finish no earlier.
ďMe personally, I am not happy with a Monday final. But it is the way it is for next two years,Ē he said. ďI think we have to accept it. Then after that it all goes back to normal hopefully for Sunday final like every Grand Slam has.Ē ó AFP