In July 2006, Novak Djokovic won the first ATP title in Amersfoort on clay, not celebrating the crowd but heading to Umag where he reached another final, facing Stan Wawrinka in the battle for the trophy. Novak had to retire in the opening set tie break, not feeling well on the court after enduring a couple of exhausting weeks.
One of the reasons for retirement was a shoulder pain that returned in the closing stages of Novak's preparations for the next 2007 season, playing with it in Adelaide and Melbourne. Fortunately, the injury wasn't that bad and his team was doing a great job to recover him after every match, with Djokovic winning the third ATP title in Adelaide and hoping for more of the same in Melbourne.
Novak destroyed Nicolas Massu in the first round, dropping only two games and barely spending 80 minutes on the court to preserve his body and set the clash against Feliciano Lopez. The Serb ousted the Spaniard 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 in just over two hours in the second round, fending off four out of five break chances and stealing Lopez's serve six times to sail through the encounter all the time except the second set when he wasted a 5-2 advantage to keep the rival alive.
Feliciano scored his only break to get back to the positive side of the scoreboard, creating another break opportunity at 5-5 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 third round.
"My arm is fine at the moment; I have a little pain in my shoulder and biceps but nothing serious that would prevent me from competing. The guys are doing a great job in the locker room, both the physiotherapist and masseurs; they are helping me out and I have no problems.
It's a little inflammation of tendinitis, a kind of a problem that needs to be solved by resting; I need to take off a couple of days or a week. Unfortunately, it happened in a bad time when I am in the middle of the tournaments at the beginning of the season.
But, as soon as I finish the Australian Open and get back home, I'll take a couple of days off and try to recover it. It all started in Umag last year, forcing me to retire in the final. After that, I didn't feel it for five, six months and then it just came during the preparation time for the previous ten days. As I said, it came at the worst time but I can't do much about that. For now, I'm feeling okay."