In the last years the average age of the tennis players went up. Stan Wawrinka will turn 32 in March while Roger Federer will be 36 years old in August. Novak Djokovic will join the '30' club in May, but he isn't thinking about the retirement at all.
In press conference after the match against Fernando Verdasco, the World No. 2 was asked if he could still be on tour aged 40. 'Why not? You're going to see a lot of me in the future', Djokovic said.
On Thursday he faced the 38-year-old Radek Stepanek, who recently said that wants to play for a few more years. Djokovic had said that he is 'excited' about Stepanek's longevity. 'It shows me that I can have as long a career as he has. If he can do it, I can do it, too.'
Today he was very close to lose today against Fernando Verdasco. The Serbian player had to save five match points, four in a row, in the second set tie-break in the match won against Fernando Verdasco by 4/6 7/6(7) 6/3. The Serbian player showed to be very relieved in press conference: 'I obviously feel content that I managed to turn the match around, the match that looked very much in hands of Fernando tonight. He was clearly a better player for two sets', Djokovic said. 'I started the match well, 4-2, and then just six games in a row when I lost the timing completely. Fernando started playing quite freely from the back of the court, serving high percentage of first serves, and using the first ball after the serve very well.'
The condition were not easy: 'Again, it was very windy. Obviously both of us, we were quite cautious with our play. In the end of the day, it was quite a thrilling experience for me to be able to go five match points down. I’m obviously very pleased, because you need these kind of matches, these kind of confidence boosters, for whatever is coming up after that. Sometimes the player on the other side of the net is just better. The only thing I could do is fight and get myself in a position to win the match. That’s what I’ve done.'
Andy Murray beat Tomas Berdych 6/3 6/4 and didn't lose any set in this event so far: 'This week has been a positive week', the Scot said. 'I’m happy that I’ve had five matches and some pretty competitive sets going into Australia. So I know that when the Aussie Open starts I’m going to be ready.'
Murray feels the final against Novak is not decisive ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season: 'Obviously it would be ideal to win the match, but I don’t know how much bearing a match tomorrow has on what happens in Australia. There is a lot of tennis to be played before we potentially play again there'. Anyway, 'it’s a great test. To start the year against one of the best in the world is great.'
Verdasco is obviously very disappointed: 'It’s tough to lose against someone so important like Novak having the match so close. Honestly, thinking about how was the break points, how was the match points in the tiebreak, I don’t think that I really played that bad or I didn’t play bad at all. I think that it just didn’t come my way. The three I had with my serve, I served well. He just returned deep. I tried to change the direction … Then you lose that set and everything is very tough mentally. Also, he gets a lot of confidence, and at the end it’s not easy to be on top of the game again.'