Why Novak Djokovic is playing it safe going into the Australian Open?

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Why Novak Djokovic is playing it safe going into the Australian Open?

The season started as a big bonus for Novak Djokovic as he came out the victor at the Australian Open. It wasn't just winning a title, but against one of his solid opponents Rafael Nadal. The Serbian has to be 'on point' now and defend his title to feel he is beginning his season on a positive note.

The Melbourne event was a definite springboard to Djokovic feeling good as he laughingly said at the final press conference that the tournament "..ranks right at the top...it's amazing to make 15 unforced errors in total in 2 matches is quite pleasantly surprising to myself..."

Djokovic wants to keep on the same strategy as he took delight in knowing he still had all the answers in defeating Nadal. He does compliment him though saying that "Nadal always brings huge intensity to the court..."

He knows the Spaniard can put the heat on a player, but he channeled his returns well to capture the win. The Serb is aware that to defeat the best you have to play at your best and mentions that his match playing the Spaniard where he pushed "to get 3 to love in under 10 minutes that was really, really important..."

Every player tries to do well at the Slams which are the highest of tournament caliber. Novak says that for him "playing grand slams is my utmost priority in this season and the season's to come. It is acknowledged that performing on a high level is great if one can do it without burning out.

Djokovic says frankly he doesn't know how long he can do it hinting that "How many seasons are to come, I don't know? I want to improve my game, maintaining overall well being I have mental, physical, emotional, so I would be able to compete at such a high level in years to come."

Playing the best and defeating them are two different things and in the Australian Open, Djokovic had his hands full with Daniil Medvedev and Denis Shapovalov who he came out winning in four sets. It took him three to be the victor over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga though.

The Serbian has won five titles this season but had a handful of lackluster performances after the Australian Open where he felt lost of focus and just the inability to hit the marks stopped his wins against opponents. The Madrid title was monumental for him as he says that "This tournament win was very important for my level of confidence."

It might not have been the title win so much as who he had defeated, the young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Novak partly attributed his win over the determined NextGen as him being tired out from the previous day defeating Rafael Nadal.

"I felt like I was always ahead in the game. I felt like I was dictating the play..." Djokovic says came down to him winning the title over Tsitsipas. Wimbledon also was a huge victory for Novak in getting the title over his other rival, Roger Federer in five sets no less.

The Japan Open and Paris Masters only gave Djokovic a grand amount of self-confidence needed to end his season on a positive note. The Serbian will indeed sit and contemplate his wins this past season, how he's won them and from what opponent.

He may have another very good year and even better if his consistency gets maintained to another higher notch with strategies staying tough. He will never take anything for granted and might even plan on trying to extend his title wins in this season to come.