In Novak Djokovic's words: 'Grass is slower than ten years ago. Baseliners..'



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In Novak Djokovic's words: 'Grass is slower than ten years ago. Baseliners..'

Novak Djokovic made a debut at Wimbledon in 2005, reaching the third round and returning as the top-40 player a year later, eager to embrace another deep run at the All England Club. The young Serb didn't play that well in the first five months of the season, earning only seven victories at the ATP tournaments and not making progress through the ranking list.

That all changed at Roland Garros where Novak advanced into the first Major quarter-final, toppling Fernando Gonzalez, Tommy Haas and Gael Monfils to set the clash against the defending champion Rafael Nadal. The Serb was unable to complete that one, retiring after losing the opening two sets and hoping to recover ahead of Wimbledon where he had a notable result 12 months earlier.

Heading to London with his new coach Marian Vajda, Novak toppled Paul Goldstein, Tommy Robredo and Mikhail Youzhny, dropping only one set against the Russian to sail into the last 16 where he would face Mario Ancic. After beating Youzhny, Novak admitted the surface at Wimbledon isn't as fast as ten or 15 years ago, offering a chance for the baseliners to fight for the title, just like Lleyton Hewitt did in 2002.

Also, Djokovic said he would love to become more confident at the net and add that extra element to his game in the years to come. "The grass is a bit slower than it was ten or 15 years ago and the baseline players can win a lot of matches, with Lleyton Hewitt conquering the title here in recent years.

It's not everything about the serve and volley and I'm happy about that since I base my game on the baseline. A lot of people have said to me how good my volley is but I still lack the confidence to go to the net more often.

I need to prove to myself that I can well at the net and use my opportunities when I get them; I hope I can improve that in the years to come. I don't want the crowd to support me because of those rumors about me becoming a Briton but for my game and what I show on the court."