- Title: SPAIN: TENNIS - Novak Djokovic eyes top ranking after another win over Nadal
- Date: 9th May 2011
- Summary: REPORTERS WAITING FOR DJOKOVIC NEWS CONFERENCE TO START WORLD NUMBER TWO NOVAK DJOKOVIC SITTING DOWN FOR NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER TWO NOVAK DJOKOVIC SAYING: "I agree that under the circumstances I was playing an unbelievable match against Rafa in his city, in his country, in a full stadium of people who were supporting him. But I was expecting that. I know how it is. We played two years ago, another really, really great match. You know in all three matches that we played this year, all were really long and a couple of points decider the winner. So I'm just happy to be able to play the best tennis when I needed to." PHOTOGRAPHER CAMERA OPERATOR (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER TWO NOVAK DJOKOVIC SAYING: "If I only keep on winning, I'm getting closer to the number one (ranking). But I'm trying not to think about that at this moment really. Because I just started the clay court season, it was a perfect start, two tournaments that I won, and I need to really stay dedicated and focused for the upcoming events. Because I know that if I want to reach number one I will have to play consistently well week after week because that's what Rafa is going to do and the rest of the players." REPORTER TYPING REPORTER TAKING NOTES DURING NEWS CONFERENCE DJOKOVIC LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM
- Embargoed: 24th May 2011 00:34
- Location: Spain, Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA3AVM4YNE77O73K27TVP2JQN3W
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Red-hot Novak Djokovic is greedily eyeing Rafa Nadal's French Open crown after humbling the Spanish clay king and world number on his own soil to win the Madrid Masters title on Sunday (May 8).
The Serb's 7-5 6-4 triumph, his 32nd consecutive win since the start of the season, was his first against Nadal on clay in 10 attempts and sets him up handily for a tilt at the only grand slam played on the red dirt starting later this month.
As well as the Australian Open and Madrid, Djokovic's run in 2011, the best season start since John McEnroe's 42-match streak in 1984, has netted him Masters titles in Indian Wells and Miami, where he beat Nadal in both finals.
He looks far sharper and balanced than the player who once suffered regular mid-match slumps and said the change was down to hard work and the support of his coaching and fitness team.
Djokovic admitted he played some of his best tennis in the Madrid final was he was delighted to be finding his absolute best at the right end of tournaments.
"I agree that under the circumstances I was playing an unbelievable match against Rafa in his city, in his country, in a full stadium of people who were supporting him," Djokovic said.
"But I was expecting that. I know how it is. We played two years ago, another really, really great match. You know in all three matches that we played this year, all were really long and a couple of points decider the winner.
"So I'm just happy to be able to play the best tennis when I needed to."
Djokovic, the current number two, is on course to take top spot in the rankings from Nadal, who is defending thousands of points over the coming months after a spectacularly successful 2010.
The Spaniard appeared to have already resigned himself to dropping off the summit.
"The number one ranking is not in danger, the number one has already gone," the 24-year-old told a news conference.
"You must be doing something very good if you are winning every match," he added.
"When he plays with that confidence he is very difficult to beat. He was always very good I think, I don't think he has improved anything huge recently."
Djokovic said he was not letting himself be distracted by the possibility of topping the rankings for the first time.
"Obviously if I only keep on winning I am getting closer to the number one but I am trying not to think about that at this moment," he said.
"I know that if I am to reach it I will have to play consistently well week after week because that is what Rafa will do."
As for Nadal, the Spaniard may have lost three straight finals to Djokovic but he insisted it was the Serb's incredible run of form that deserved all the headlines.
"In life and in everybody's career, there are high and low moments and my current moment is not low, it is high.
"But the moment of my rival today is the highest. So donï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½t make a drama when someone is better than the other... when you do all you can, you can do no more."
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None