Djokovic eyes elusive French Open

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 28, 2013
In years past, Novak Djokovic marked his victories at the Australian Open with rowdy late-night celebrations and bleary-eyed photo shoots the next morning in downtown Melbourne. This year's win made history but inspired a more sober reaction. After beating Andy Murray to become the only man to win three consecutive Australian Open titles, the No. 1-ranked player didn't feel the need to celebrate immediately. Instead, he booked an early Monday flight home to start preparing for his next challenge: the clay courts of Europe. The Serb has the Davis Cup next weekend and a few months away is the French Open - the one major that has eluded him. Djokovic now has six Grand Slam tournament trophies, four overall from the Australian Open and one each from Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2011. He came close last year at Roland Garros, but lost in the final to clay-court master Rafael Nadal. ''Of course, I want to go all the way in the French Open,'' Djokovic said at his post-match news conference just after midnight. His goal for the year is a big one, he said, when asked if he would choose a Roland Garros title over his No. 1-ranking. ''I'll take everything,'' the 25-year-old Djokovic said. ''I have no reason not to be confident in myself.'' Djokovic never lacked self-confidence and his dominating performance at the Australian Open showed just why. The elite group Djokovic heads includes No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 3 Murray and Nadal, whose creaky knees caused him to sit out this tournament and yield his No. 4 ranking to David Ferrer. Djokovic beat Ferrer in an 89-minute semifinal he said he played ''perfectly.'' Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam-winner, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have combined to win 33 of the past 34 majors. ''I have a great feeling about myself on the court at this moment,'' Djokovic said after beating Ferrer. His 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 victory over Murray on Sunday night showed his mental toughness and supreme fitness in a match that contained riveting rallies between two of the best returners in the game. The win deprived Murray of his chance to capitalize on his breakthrough year in 2012, when he won an Olympic gold and his first major title at the U.S. Open. ''I'm full of joy right now,'' Djokovic said. ''It's going to give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, that's for sure.'' The season resumes next weekend with Serbia's Davis Cup tie against Belgium, which was why Djokovic flew home early so he could celebrate with the people closest to him. ''In life you don't get many opportunities to win Grand Slams. As a tennis player, that's a pinnacle of the ambitions and of the success,'' he said. ''So I (will) try to enjoy it for a few days with the people I love the most - family, friends and team.'' Djokovic apologized to reporters for skipping Monday's traditional post-victory news conference. ''The main reason is because I want to get to Europe as quick as possible so I can be ready for the Davis Cup tie,'' said Djokovic, who led Serbia to its first and only Davis Cup title in 2010. ''I hope I find your understanding for that.'' After he wrapped up his media obligations, he went online at about 4:30 a.m. to post a note of thanks to his fans. ''My dear friends,'' he wrote in a personal blog post that he also tweeted. ''(I'm) laying in bed now and thinking `Novak, you are 4 times AO champion,' That's quite something, right? I will have to repeat it in my mind for a while to sink in.'' ''This is just the start of the year!'' Djokovic wrote, ahead of catching his flight. ''Plenty of things ahead of us, starting from tomorrow morning. ... Stay tuned.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

Tennis News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker