In Novak Djokovic's words: 'I was happy not to face Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal'



by   |  VIEW 3746

In Novak Djokovic's words: 'I was happy not to face Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal'

Novak Djokovic was one of the youngsters to watch in 2006, entering the top-20 and setting eyes on higher goals in the following season. Novak won the title in Adelaide at the beginning of 2007, saving his best tennis for March and the "Sunshine double" in Indian Wells and Miami.

A teenager was the most prominent player at the opening two Masters 1000 events, reaching the final in Indian Wells and lifting the trophy in Miami, his first at that level. On April 1, the Serb toppled Guillermo Canas 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 20 minutes, having the upper hand in every segment to become the last teenager with the Masters 1000 crown!

Novak saved all five break points while Guillermo served at only 54% and suffered four breaks from seven opportunities offered to his opponent. Djokovic was more efficient in the shortest and most extended rallies, with his groundstrokes overpowering Canas who was still pleased with the last two weeks, beating Roger Federer twice.

Novak kicked off the match with a smash winner for a hold at love, saving a break point at 1-1 to stay in touch.

A backhand down the line in the next game clinched a break at love for him, cementing it with an ace a few minutes later to open a 4-1 gap.

Serving for the set at 5-3, Novak held at 15 after a forehand error from Canas, looking for a similar outcome in the rest of the encounter. After four good holds at the start of the second set, Djokovic blasted a forehand down the line to force an error from his opponent and grab a break, rattling off three break chances in the next one that would last for a grueling 20 minutes!

It took all the energy away from Canas, giving serve at love in game seven after a backhand down the line winner from Djokovic that pushed the Serb 5-2 up, saving a break point to take two sets to love advantage and make a massive step towards the title.

Guillermo survived multiple break opportunities at the beginning of the third set, struggling with a left thigh injury but staying in touch with Novak until 4-4. Then, he hit a double fault to give Djokovic the pivotal advantage.

Serving for the title in game ten, Novak landed a forehand down the line winner to celebrate the crown and begin his stellar Masters 1000 journey that currently stands on 34 trophies and many records in the premium ATP series.

"I felt pressure before the start of the final; still, I was happy not to face Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. They are both powerful in the decisive matches, playing their best tennis when it matters the most. I learned a lot from that Indian Wells defeat to Rafa, taking positive and negative notes and trying to perform better next time.

In comparison to that match, I was more patient against Rafa this week, still trying to play aggressive tennis and force him to battle for every point. I'm thrilled with my improvements; I hope it stays that way. My results in the last two events give me a lot of confidence; I think I'm world no.

2 in the Race and this has been my career-best tennis. Clay is one of my favorite surfaces and I expect good results there," Novak Djokovic said.