Starting the season from the top-20, the 19-year-old Novak Djokovic was eager to show his best tennis in the opening events of the year in Australia. In Adelaide, Novak became the first champion in the round-robin system on the ATP 250 level, prevailing against Chris Guccione in the final for the third ATP trophy.
Heading to Melbourne as one of the dark horses, Novak destroyed Nicolas Massu in the first round, dropping only two games and staying on the court for 81 minutes, preserving energy for the upcoming encounters. In the second round, the Serb ousted Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 in just over two hours, fending off four out of five break chances and delivering six breaks to control the scoreboard all the time except the second set when he wasted a 5-2 advantage.
Feliciano scored his only break to reduce the deficit, creating another break opportunity that Novak saved and closed the set with a break in the next game, never looking back and dominating in the decider for the place in the last 32.
"I was more or less in control for the entire match, despite a little struggle in the second set after that 5-2 advantage and a set point that I wasted. Feliciano started to play well and took his chances; he even had a break point at 5-5 before I brought that game home and broke him in the next one to secure the set.
Those couple of games didn't work well for me but everything else was just how I wanted it to be; I want to carry my game from the first and third sets into the upcoming matches. My next rival is Danai Udomchoke; I watched him a little bit against Juan Carlos Ferrero and we even played once in the doubles together.
He is a good player and a tough opponent, although I'm not too familiar with his game, which could be dangerous in some ways. I will try to stay aggressive and impose my shots."