It was Billie Jean King who said, "Pressure is a privilege."
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic didn't quite put it that way when he talked to the media Friday at the BNP Paribas Open here, but the sentiments were the same.
"As a top player, you just have to deal with the pressure," he said. "You have to understand it, you know, cherish it and accept it as a challenge. Just try to take the best out of it and give your best on every match you play."
After his sensational season in 2011, when the super-fit Serb won three of the four Grand Slams before physical wear and tear blunted the edges of his game in September, Djokovic has become a worldwide celebrity and the recipient of numerous awards. He is trying not to get carried away by it all.
How did it feel to be on top of the world? "Look, I still have the same daily routine," the Serb replied in his fluent English. "The same approach to my career, to the life that I'm having. I don't consider myself, you know, being on top of the world...