In Novak Djokovic's words: 'I belong in the top-3 with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal'

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In Novak Djokovic's words: 'I belong in the top-3 with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal'

After cracking the top-20 in 2006, Novak Djokovic was eager for more in the upcoming season, becoming the third most reliable link in men's tennis behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Novak kicked off the 2007 campaign with a title in Adelaide before losing to Federer at the Australian Open and Dubai, heading to Indian Wells where he scored five dominant wins to reach the final, losing to Rafael Nadal in straight sets to finish runner-up.

With those 350 points, Novak secured the place in the top-10 for the first time ahead of Miami, delivering his best tennis in Florida to lift the maiden Masters 1000 crown, standing as the last teenager with a trophy at this level!

Djokovic defeated Daniele Bracciali with a single break in round two, followed by a couple of easy days at the office. The Serb toppled Michael Llodra, Feliciano Lopez, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, dropping serve only once in five encounters to book the place in the final against Guillermo Canas.

On April 1, Djokovic defeated the Argentine 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 20 minutes, keeping the strings of the clash in his hands from start to finish to claim the biggest title of his young career, two months before turning 20!

Novak saved all five break points while Guillermo couldn't match that pace, serving at only 54% and losing 42% of the points behind the initial shot to suffer four breaks from seven opportunities given to a teenager. A teenager had the advantage in the quickest and more extended exchanges, staying focused and marching towards the title, becoming the youngest winner of the prestigious event.

After the match, Novak said he feels he belongs to the top-3 with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, improving his game all the time and playing the career-best tennis in the last couple of weeks.

"I'm always comparing myself to the best players in the world; that's where I want to be.

I feel for the first time that I'm on their level and that I belong in the top-3.

I proved that with a win over Nadal here in Miami. I'm still waiting for that win over Roger Federer but I hope that will soon come. I'm happy with my achievement so far, hoping it's only the beginning. With Marian Vajda and Mark Woodforde, who was with us in the past couple of weeks, I have worked on my volleys, trying to be more aggressive and finish the points at the net.

I almost wasted a 30-0 lead in the final game, that shouldn't happen and I have to be more careful. I went with that last forehand and fell to the ground; it was a very emotional moment. I was very nervous before the match, facing the opponent who is in great shape. Also, I lost the final in Indian Wells and I wanted badly to avoid another defeat," Novak Djokovic said.