To win in Indian Wells has been a great confidence boost for Novak Djokovic. The world No.2 has finally cancelled the zero standing next to the year to date titles, winning his 17th Masters 1000 title and sending clear a message to the rest of the players in the ATP World Tour: Novak is still there, he still wants to win more, you should never count him out.
Sure Novak's win has had the biggest impact on Novak himself, but the rest of him team has been waiting for a trophy together with the Serb champion, always in his box, hoping to see Djokovic taking a win. Right after the Californian final, Marian Vajda declared: "it is a very important victory, because the results of the beginning of the season have a strong impact on the rest of the year. Novak is finally getting passed his bad moment. Now he is completely in control of his game. He has a great serve, a good defensive game and a very strong offensive initiative. He's got his mind cleared up over tennis".
What was indeed Novak missing at the beginning of the year? "He was missing consistency and patience" said coach Vajda. "It happened that he would play a terrible first set, followed by two average ones. He would go up a break and then soon lose it. I couldn't recognize him, I couldn't see anymore the real Novak!" revealed Marian.
"Also, he put too much pressure on himself approaching the Australian Open. When Boris Becker became a part of the team, we all had to adapt to the changes and build a new team's structure. At the beginning the whole thing was shaky, now we have been able to consolidate it. Novak didn't have the total control of the situation and he had to ask himself some questions. But he managed to work it out, because he has a very strong character" continued the Serb.
How helpful was Vajda's work to the world No.2, is the next question, to which Marian answers saying: "I asked him to put more effort in his game, starting with the training sessions. Everyday we would set up a goal for the end of the day, and if we didn't reach it, we would go back on court the day after to make it. I have always been very honest to him. When something did not work the proper way, I always made sure he knew what I thought about it".
"I want Novak to understand himself how important it is to work on details. We worked focusing on different things, on his serve, but especially on his backhand. He couldn't use that show as he used to do! But during the final of Indian Wells, we all realized how his best shot is back. Novak managed to move Federer around the court and have him running"
"I think Novak's problem was inside his game. It had nothing to do with his attitude or determination. He never wanted to rush through things. During the final and especially during the last games of the third set, Novak made it clear how he still has that flame burning into him. He played his best tennis when he really needed to. That is a peculiar dowry, typical of the great champions" finished Vajda.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.