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Old 01-26-2013, 04:34 PM   #1231
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http://sport.blic.rs/Tenis/227168/Dj...o-Nole-sampion

Novak Djokovic will play the final of the AO on Sunday from 9:30 CET against Andy Murray, hoping to become the first tennis player in the Open era to lift the AO trophy three times in a row. Lifting trophies was something he practiced as a kid, when he made trophies out of...anything he could get his hands on.

Waiting for a new, great final, a new match against Murray who he beat twice in three matches for a trophy last year, but to whom he lost the USO final, Djokovic reminisced about his childhood years.

´I always dreamed about becoming the very best tennis player. I remember that, as a very young kid, I improvised: I made little trophies out of various materials, and then I would go to the mirror, lift those trophies and say ´Nole is the champion!´, Djokovic said before the duel with his Scottish rival.

Djokovic remembered the years of war that threw a shadow over his childhood.

´We didn´t have a childhood like other tennis players from my generation, because we grew up during the war. There was a lot of hardship, many financial problems... but we made it through all of that. I have to be grateful to God for the help my parents and my entire family offered me. They believed in me and gave me hope whenever I had doubts´, Nole stated.

Nowadays, there is nobody who doubts he is an excellent athlete. A year ago he fought a six hour battle with
Rafael Nadal before beating him in an anthological final on the road to his second AO title in a row.

´The pressure on the eve of an important match is a sort of privilege, it is a true challenge for every athlete. It´s all about that - about how you deal with it. It´s about how you grow as a player and how you gain experience, which you will use when you need it the most. The privilege is in the fact that that pressure means you´re doing something that matters. And I´ve dreamed all my life to be the best at what I do. And those dreams came true´, Djokovic said, thanking his parents and friends that they have helped him stay grounded even after having realised his dreams.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:09 AM   #1232
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Djokovic is a man bearing titles, and chocolates

1/27/2013 12:32:00 PM

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Novak Djokovic wrapped up his victory at the Australian Open on a sweet note.

A master at playing to his audience, Djokovic came with several boxes of chocolates to his post-match news conference and then played host as he distributed them to a room packed with journalists.

``Please, take two,'' Djokovic said, offering his box of treats to one reporter at a time.

``I see nobody's on a sugar-free diet,'' he joked as the chocolates began to disappear.

The No. 1-ranked player became the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian titles when he beat Andy Murray 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 in Sunday's final.

Djokovic has won four of his six major titles at Melbourne Park, and likes to give a little something back to the crowds who cheer him.

An entertainer on court and off, Djokovic is known for celebrating hard-fought victories at Rod Laver Arena by ripping off his shirt. He kept his clothes on for this final, but did bare his chest after winning a five-hour thriller over Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round.

``It's definitely my favorite Grand Slam,'' Djokovic said during his victory speech on center court. ``It's an incredible feeling winning this trophy once more. I love this court.''

To mark the national holiday on Saturday, Djokovic pinned a fuzzy koala to his sweat shirt and walked into his pre-final news conference saying, ``Happy Australia Day!''

He was asked on Sunday if his good humor was a conscious effort, which made Djokovic turn philosophical.

``I try to enjoy what I do, and every moment of the life that I have is a blessing,'' he said. ``What else can you do but to be happy and try to bring that joy to the other people around - especially in the tournaments.''

``Everybody has bad days,'' he added. ``I'm not always funny or laughing.''

He then apologized to reporters for canceling the winner's traditional day-after news conference scheduled for Monday. He said he wanted to get back to Europe to begin practicing for the Davis Cup, which starts next weekend.

That's when he brought out the chocolates, as a consolation prize.

``Let's keep it sweet,'' he said.

---

TRIBUTE TO ANDRE: Andre Agassi made his return to Rod Laver Arena in a suit and tie.

Now 42, Agassi was invited back to the site of some of his greatest tennis triumphs to present this year's trophies.

``It was obviously a big pleasure and honor for me to receive the trophy from him,'' Djokovic said.

By winning his fourth Australian Open, Djokovic matched a record set by Agassi who won the tournament in 1995, 2000, `01 and `03.

``He's a legend of the sport,'' Djokovic said. ``He won everything.''

An eight-time Grand Slam winner, Agassi won at each of the four Grand Slams and owns an Olympic gold medal from the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Agassi watched the final from the stands and then presided over the trophy ceremony. It was his first trip Down Under in nearly 10 years.

---
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“There’s so many athletes, tennis players around the world,” he continued, trying to put his life into some kind of perspective, “they want to be the best in what they do. They want to succeed. Many of them, they don’t succeed in the end. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity and succeed.”
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:02 AM   #1233
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Part of the reason why I like and support Nole: he just seems intelligent and with depth in his soul. I speculate that had he not been an athlete, he would have made a good university student too .
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:13 PM   #1234
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Must read

Quote:
Australian Open 2013: how Novak Djokovic turned himself into a champion
As Andy Murray will recognise, every top player has to go through some sort of heartbreak in order to fulfil their true potential. In fact, it is often a crushing defeat that triggers the stubborn, almost obsessional focus possessed by the great champions.



In the case of Novak Djokovic, that moment came at the French Open almost three years ago. In a quarter-final against Austria’s Jürgen Melzer, he was the almost unbackable favourite – the third seed about to take on the world No 27. But despite leading by two sets and a break, he let the match slip away.

“That was the turnaround, mentally,” said Djokovic’s coach Marian Vajda. “After that defeat, he convinced himself that he had to work harder.

“I started working with him in 2006,” Vajda told Telegraph Sport, “and I remember that he said, 'I really will be No 1, I really feel for that.’ Then he won his first major in Melbourne in 2008. But he had difficulty backing it up. He was always great, he was No 3 in the world, but he wasn’t patient. He said, 'When, when, when?’ I said, 'It takes time, you have to work on this and this and this. When you get it together everything will be fine.’

“I told him not to rush but there was a period in 2009 when he did start rushing and he was not believing. It was not a good year, it was up and down.

"He asked Todd Martin to help him improve his serve, because at that time he had no serve, and his forehand was short. But if you are somebody who can win matches without a serve and without big powerful strokes, it shows that you are so mentally strong.

“When Todd came it was counter-productive. We were splitting the weeks between him and me. This process didn’t go well. Somehow Todd didn’t recognise Novak as a holistic person.

"The chemistry wasn’t there. I was back-stage. I was waiting. I didn’t want to leave because I understand that coaching is a process. I stayed patient because I know with Novak’s talent he wanted to try so much, and he is open. He had a great base but he just wanted to adjust some small things.

“Even after he came back to me I wanted to work more and he was sometimes escaping. But then when we came to the court, he was focused, he was winning the important points, basically he was a fighter, he would never give up any ball. And then, after he lost to Melzer from two sets up in 2010, he looked at himself. Since then, he has had the momentum.”

Serbia’s Davis Cup win at the end of 2010 is usually seen as the moment when Djokovic blossomed. It certainly gave him a huge emotional boost, a reminder of the unbridled joy he had experienced here in Melbourne at the age of just 20. But Djokovic himself agrees with Vajda that the Melzer meltdown was a turning point.

“It did change things,” Djokovic said. “I remember 2010 as a very special year in my career because the first six months were very difficult in terms of results and also my health was pretty bad. I won a title in Dubai but beside that my game was not there, I changed my serve technique. I had a lot of mental issues. Every single pro athlete has to go through this crisis period in his career.

“I lost that match and then from Wimbledon on, in the second part of the year, I started playing much better and being more confident on the court. I felt I got a huge relief mentally rather than anything else. My serve was coming back, and then the Davis Cup title came at the right moment for myself and my country and all of my colleagues, because that’s when I got a strong wind in my back, and it switched momentum.

“For four years, I had been the No 3 of the world, but still I felt like I hadn’t reached my full potential. I felt I could maximise that potential in years to come and then I have made that – as my coach said – crucial switch in my head and my mentality. And from there it all came together.”

With six grand slam titles already under his belt, Djokovic is more than delivering on his early promise. Murray and the other members of the 'Big Four’ could be forgiven for wondering why, on that critical day in Paris, Melzer could not simply have thrown in the towel.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/ten...-champion.html
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“There’s so many athletes, tennis players around the world,” he continued, trying to put his life into some kind of perspective, “they want to be the best in what they do. They want to succeed. Many of them, they don’t succeed in the end. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity and succeed.”
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:33 PM   #1235
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Thank youThat was such a heartbreaking lossNo one thought he'll comeback stronger and much better


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Old 01-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #1236
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Very interesting that Melzer match was the turning point, everybody will usually say Davis Cup, I didn't know that Also that Nole didn't really work hard enough before that (and was still #3 for years ), also that Vajda is mind blowingly good coach, had the patience to sit back and wait for Nole to finish the abysmal Todd Martin experiment
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“There’s so many athletes, tennis players around the world,” he continued, trying to put his life into some kind of perspective, “they want to be the best in what they do. They want to succeed. Many of them, they don’t succeed in the end. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity and succeed.”
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:05 PM   #1237
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Nice article I remember that match. I have to say I never stopped supporting Nole, and I never stopped watching him play. But during 2010 I did lose a bit faith in him. For 2 years or so I had the biggest faith in him, even more than I have now, I thought he could beat anyone and do anything, but then 2009 came along and the first part of 2010 which was awful, so I never stopped following and loving him, but I felt different, I had accepted that maybe he wasn't going to be #1 or one of the best players ever. And then he proved me wrong. It's really good reading how he was feeling and what he was thinking back then, and compare it to my response as fan. I remember being pretty pissed after that loss in RG 2010. And now I find out it was a turning point.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:02 PM   #1238
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My case is more strange. Maybe there is something wrong with me. But I don't think I have ever enjoyed Nole more than in 2010. I know he was struggling quite a lot, I still remember him on the ground practicising his serve for Martin in front of a big audience looking embarrassed. But those were great times for me, i followed every match and move, i enjoyed all the drama, all the emotions and excess. Every win was like the biggest achievement ever. I don't think I enjoyed a victory more than Nole's routing of Nadal in Paris. I kind of miss those times, not for the losses or Novak's eternal nº3 rank, but because i was accompanying him through the process of maturing as a player, watching him win his first important matches, like USO SF against Federer. I don't think I have ever cried more than when he lost the USO final against Nadal. Those are the memories for me. 2011-13 is great, don't get me wrong, I enjoy his new position as a tennis champion and nº1 immensely, but the struggle isn't there anymore. I know he's come around as the perfect player he can be. Somehow he resembles a bit old Federer and there is a reason why I never supported Federer: I enjoyed the position of underdog. However, i'm not saying I miss the old times, just that I learnt to enjoy them as well.
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The Golden Era of Novak: Australian Open * Dubai * Indian Wells * Miami * Belgrade * Madrid * Rome * Wimbledon * Montreal * US Open * Abu Dhabi * Australian Open * Miami * Toronto * China * Shanghai * World Tour Finals 2012 * Australian Open 2013 * Dubai * Montecarlo * Beijing * Shanghai * Paris * WTF * Indian Wells * Miami * Rome * WIMBLEDON 2014
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:16 PM   #1239
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Not me. I remember watching the live score during Wimbledon 2010 on my mobile while waiting in a big ass line for some documents, and how he was routined by Berdych, who was yanking him on the court like a rag doll, even though Nole is a better player by a country mile Losing is fine and a part of the sport, but going down tamely like that, without any semblance of a fight was unwatchable.
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“There’s so many athletes, tennis players around the world,” he continued, trying to put his life into some kind of perspective, “they want to be the best in what they do. They want to succeed. Many of them, they don’t succeed in the end. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity and succeed.”
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:17 PM   #1240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nole fan View Post
My case is more strange. Maybe there is something wrong with me. But I don't think I have ever enjoyed Nole more than in 2010. I know he was struggling quite a lot, I still remember him on the ground practicising his serve for Martin in front of a big audience looking embarrassed. But those were great times for me, i followed every match and move, i enjoyed all the drama, all the emotions and excess. Every win was like the biggest achievement ever. I don't think I enjoyed a victory more than Nole's routing of Nadal in Paris. I kind of miss those times, not for the losses or Novak's eternal nº3 rank, but because i was accompanying him through the process of maturing as a player, watching him win his first important matches, like USO SF against Federer. I don't think I have ever cried more than when he lost the USO final against Nadal. Those are the memories for me. 2011-13 is great, don't get me wrong, I enjoy his new position as a tennis champion and nº1 immensely, but the struggle isn't there anymore. I know he's come around as the perfect player he can be. Somehow he resembles a bit old Federer and there is a reason why I never supported Federer: I enjoyed the position of underdog. However, i'm not saying I miss the old times, just that I learnt to enjoy them as well.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely miss his underdog status. When being a Nole fan was something special, and you weren't necessarily a glory hunter. I remember telling people I had a big crush on a tennis player and they would NEVER guess who he was, because they had barely heard about him. I also miss going to a tournament and watch him practice and play among only a dozen or so fans. Back in 2009, I watched him play Seppi in Madrid on court 2. In Madrid you either pay for the Main Court ticket which gives you access to all courts but court 2, or you pay for a Court 2 ticket which gives you access to all but Main Court. So everyone buys tickets for main court because it's only a few more € and Court 2 is often empty, I never buy for court 2. But thet year Nole was scheduled for 2, so I had a Main Court ticket and bought a second ticket for court 2 just to watch Nole play Anyways, it was me and like 20 othe rpeople watching him play a R3 match!! It's crazy, it would never happen now. I also watched him play doubles that year, in an absurdly small court, and where I was sitting, if I reached out I could almost hug him while he was sitting between games. I absolutely miss those days.

But what I miss is 2007 and 2008, where he was still very unknown and still maturing, and the first part of 2009... then it just got too painful too watch.

Now I don't feel special as Djokovic fan, do you understand what I mean? We used to be special, and not millions of us...

But now we have many many trophies and a lot of success which totally makes up for that. And trophies and success was what we wanted in the first place. We can't have everything, can we?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:28 PM   #1241
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Default Re: Novak News & Interviews Vol.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nole fan View Post
My case is more strange. Maybe there is something wrong with me. But I don't think I have ever enjoyed Nole more than in 2010. I know he was struggling quite a lot, I still remember him on the ground practicising his serve for Martin in front of a big audience looking embarrassed. But those were great times for me, i followed every match and move, i enjoyed all the drama, all the emotions and excess. Every win was like the biggest achievement ever. I don't think I enjoyed a victory more than Nole's routing of Nadal in Paris. I kind of miss those times, not for the losses or Novak's eternal nº3 rank, but because i was accompanying him through the process of maturing as a player, watching him win his first important matches, like USO SF against Federer. I don't think I have ever cried more than when he lost the USO final against Nadal. Those are the memories for me. 2011-13 is great, don't get me wrong, I enjoy his new position as a tennis champion and nº1 immensely, but the struggle isn't there anymore. I know he's come around as the perfect player he can be. Somehow he resembles a bit old Federer and there is a reason why I never supported Federer: I enjoyed the position of underdog. However, i'm not saying I miss the old times, just that I learnt to enjoy them as well.
I agree in a certain way. In 2005-2008 I felt that way but in 2010 (and 2009) he kinda declined as a player. He was maturing the previous years and then he went into a slump. Losing to Fed and Nadal most of the time, retiring in a lot of matches, losing to mugs, etc. I still supported him during those years and I knew he would eventually come back to his form and win more slams and reach #1 (never thought he would go 43 mtahces unbeaten) but those years weren't great as a Nole fan for me. I did enjoy 2005-2008 as much or more as I enjoyed 2011-2013.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:28 PM   #1242
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Default Re: Novak News & Interviews Vol.2

It seems like we all have our own favourite period of his career. For me 2007 was the most enjoyable year. Everything was so new back then, it felt like a coming of age-tale. He won his first Masters´, made a big splash in the rankings, got very far in the Slams and made life hell for Rafa and Roger, which was very refreshing. The knowledge that those two were looking at every draw, hoping Novak was not drawn in their half was very satisfying. Not to mention that I loved that aggressive playing style he had back then. Don´t get me wrong, I like his current game as well and it suits him tremendously, but back then he was so fearless, it was wonderful. After that summer of 2008 it all just kind of started to go downhill. Instead of the hunter he became the hunted and you could see his head was not quite there. 2009 and early 2010 were just quite painful for me, to see him struggle so much. His match against Roddick at Indian Wells 2009 is the most horrible match I´ve ever seen him play, he was literally pushing the ball (one of the few times that verb accurately described what was happening on the tennis court) without any confidence in him whatsoever.

I never would have guessed the Melzer match was where he made his turnaround, I´d have said it was that USO semi or the Davis Cup win. But in hindsight it makes sense, already at the Wimbledon of that year it felt like he was playing with more purpose. The struggles he has had have made following his career all the more gratifying to me. 2011 was a big reward for all those previous years. Last year was interesting too, because he once again became the hunted. And he passed the test. Sure, nowadays the lack of a struggle can get a bit boring, but it is nice to see him make his dreams come true. And who knows how long that will last. Someday, he´ll get into the autumn of his career and will have to fight where once he could just coast along. And just like I have more appreciation for Fed now, when he´s the old lion that has to fight to stay in the top, than in his years of dominance, I´ll respect Nole even more when it is his turn to fight against the young guard.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:36 PM   #1243
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I would have actually said the match that changed momentum was the match he nearly lost to Troicki at USO 2010 before going to beat Roger in that phenomenal 5-set match, possibly the best match I've ever seen (with some more against Nadal later on). That was a waking call if i ever saw one.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:39 PM   #1244
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By the way, another great article (was written before the final). Now Wilander is Novak's nº1 fan.

Quote:
Mats Wilander: Andy Murray will need brains as well as brawn to beat Novak Djokovic and win Australian Open
After two weeks of route-one tennis, Andy Murray must bring the cute flourishes and curlicues back into his game if he wants to beat the world’s cleanest ball-striker.

That is the view of Mats Wilander, the three-time Australian Open champion, who feels that today’s showdown could produce one of the greatest finals in the modern era.
Last week in The Sunday Telegraph, Wilander stressed the value of simplicity in Murray’s passage through the early rounds.
His emphasis on the quick, clean kill was reflected in the five straight-sets wins that preceded Friday night’s dramatic semi-final.

But now the strategy must change, because Novak Djokovic presents a different challenge to anyone else on the tour. “I feel that Novak is consistently a better and cleaner ball-striker that Andy,” said Wilander, who is commentating for Eurosport throughout this tournament. “He can go on this rampage for 45 minutes where he doesn’t miss a thing.
“He relies on his movement so much more than we realise, because he knows he’s going to get everything back. You cannot hit a winner against him, it’s nearly impossible. He comes out and thinks ‘I can get to everything’, so he doesn’t have to go for shots of last resort.

“Andy’s best call is to throw a bit of the old Andy in there, which should be really fun. He has more options than Novak, and he needs to use them. Not to try to bully Novak all the time but to change the pace, to use his touch.

“If Andy wins this match, we could potentially have watched the greatest tennis match of all time. When they play well against one another, it’s hard to understand how good they are.

They are so strong, so quick and so flexible, and they have so much natural talent – every single ball is coming out of the middle of the racket. When they miss one it looks stupid, but you don’t realise how clean and how good the other shots were. It’s amazing to watch.”

Like most of the pundits at Melbourne Park, Wilander suggests that Djokovic will start the match as favourite. Partly because of his experience in the biggest matches and partly because of the way he has carved up all opposition here, with the sole exception of Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round.

“The difference between them is that Andy hasn’t hit his way home yet in a match of this magnitude,” Wilander said. “I wouldn’t call the US Open final hitting his way home, because it was so windy, and that changed the whole dynamic.

"The conditions played to all Andy’s variations and subtle touches and turned them into the decisive factor.

“Things couldn’t be more different here in Melbourne. It makes sense that Novak plays so well on Rod Laver Arena. Because although this is the nicest court in many ways around the world, it’s also the most sterile.
"You have the grass of Wimbledon, the clay and the rain at Roland Garros, you’ve got the wind and open stands at US Open.
"Whereas this is hardly outdoors at all. Sometimes you get a bit of wind in there but very rarely. The roof closes a little bit to keep the conditions perfect for Djokovic. Nothing is going to disturb him in there. Apart from this” — and Wilander mimes a backhand slice.

“Against Roger Federer on Friday, Andy nearly hit his way home but there were a few cock-ups along the way. Whether they were caused by Roger or caused by the occasion I’m not sure. That’s the only thing that would speak against Andy, we haven’t seen him be really ruthless in these big matches.

“Sometimes I feel that Andy doesn’t recognise the regulation shots as being important. He’s not interested in them. He wants something complicated or he wants to make the other guy play worse.
"That’s why sometimes this backhand that’s in the middle of the court, he’s bored with it and it looks amateurish when he hits it. He’s a bit late and the left-arm comes up and it’s sort of a half mis-hit.
“That’s something he has to be careful of. Because Novak won’t give up many freebies in this match, so Andy can’t afford to either.

“That’s the rivalry we are going to see over the next couple of years. We all know who we want to win and it depends where we are in the series.
“Obviously we want Andy to win at the moment because he’s behind in their head-to-head. We want him to win this title because then he becomes favourite for Wimbledon and don’t you want to see Andy Murray win Wimbledon?

"Of course you do. It would be brilliant for tennis.”
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:44 PM   #1245
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Default Re: Novak News & Interviews Vol.2

If we look back now, it makes sense that the turn around match was prior to USO 2010, because he was already a different player then. I watched him play DC semis live in Belgrade vs Berdych, and if I look back, he already was different player back then, even before DC Final. There was fire and belief again.
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