Djokovic At The Peak Of His Powers
Novak Djokovic has earned a 25-2 record to start the 2015 season, adding additional titles in Melbourne, Indian Wells and Miami to his bursting resume.
“I’m at the peak of my abilities right now,” said the World No. 1 on Sunday in Monaco ahead of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
Shades of the start of his remarkable 2011 season to some, Djokovic, a champion here in 2013, feels better prepared this year.
“The experience of playing at a high level for the last three or four years helped me to handle these particular situations better than I have done in 2010 and 2011,” he said. “I feel like I have matured physically.
“I’m enjoying my time on the court, playing some of my best tennis. Next to 2011, this is definitely the best start I’ve ever had… It’s [been] four months, and [there’s] still a lot of time to come.”
Relying on fitness and staying injury free are the 27-year-old Serb’s keys to sustaining a high level of tennis.
“It’s not the first time that I’ve had to face this particular situation where I played so many matches,” said Djokovic, who is looking to become the first player to win the first three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles of the season. “It’s a positive consequense that I have to pay because of the great results that I’ve made, so I can’t complain.”
Djokovic holds a 23-7 record in Monte-Carlo, where he reached the semi-finals or better in his last six appearances, and the Belgrade native owns a home in the Principality.
“I am at my home base here in Monaco, where I spend a lot of time when I’m not at the tournaments,” he said. “I do feel very comfortable and excited to play in Monaco, where I think I’ve played consistently well throughout many years… hopefully I can start the clay-court season as well as I want to.”
In the same half of the draw as eight-time champion Rafael Nadal, Djokovic is first to admit the Spaniard is the one to beat.
“Whenever the clay-court season comes around, he is the first player to be mentioned as the favourite in any tournament,” he said. “They call him ‘King of Clay’, and he definitely has deserved that crown because of the results and achievements he has in his career, especially on this surface.”
Djokovic will open his Monte-Carlo campaign against the winner of Denis Istomin and Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round.