• Djokovic says Masters 1000 tougher than Slams

    5/12/11 4:15 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Djokovic says Masters 1000 tougher than Slams As he motors along undefeated this season, Novak Djokovic believes that it's been tougher for him to win a Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid) than a Grand Slam (Australian Open).

    The Serb who lost his last match in November calls the physical effort needed at the generally one-week Masters events more than what is called for at a major played over a fortnight.

    "Maybe it's physically tougher to play every day here," said the second seed at the Rome Masters. "It's not important whether you're playing two or three sets but the fact that every day you're playing someone in the top 10 or 15 or 20 in the world.

    "Over three weeks (three successive tournaments) that takes a lot out of you but that's tennis."

    Djokovic likes the more leisurely pace of the Grand Slams,where rest days are programmed in with player heading onto court every two days. At a Masters (10-day events Indian Wells and Miami allow a bit more breathing room) the pace is five matches in seven days for a potential titleholder.

    "I'm basically playing a match every day," added Djokovic. "But I'm maintaining my good feeling on court and good physical condition off court and trying to keep it up because I know Roland Garros is coming, which is the most important tournament for me on clay."

    But like all other major players, the Slams hold a special place in Djokovic. "Grand Slams are very special tournaments, they're different to all the others. You play over two weeks and you have to win three sets (per match). You must stay concentrated and maintain the desire to win always."

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players who get byes in the first round basically play five consecutive days. thats gotta be rough.

mriiidula , 5/12/11 7:48 PM

yeah, the first week of a Slam must be pretty relaxed if you're a top player...

stu , 5/12/11 7:58 PM

an article by steve tignor, who thinks djokovic should maybe lose before the french so that he has no pressure. weird. kinda negative too. /will-pressure-streak-affect-djoker?campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines

mriiidula , 5/12/11 9:43 PM

TBH, mriiidula, that has occurred to me as well. If he does go on to win Rome, there's too much on the line at RG, and new Nole, however fantastic he may be, is still new to success of this magnitude.
The FO final against Rafa, if they both make it there after Nole wins Rome, would mean the #1 ranking as well as Vilas' record for the longest streak ever. A long clay streak of 20 matches for Nole. And of course, the biggest feat of them all, beating Rafa for the 2nd (or 3rd?) time on clay, on the biggest stage of them all. Maybe ending the streak would take some pressure off.

stu , 5/12/11 10:36 PM

i dont think so actually. the enormity of being in a french open final and playing nadal is pressure itself, irrespective of whether the streak is alive or not. even if he loses rome (which i think might happen given how he's playing and who else he needs to play to win) he will have the tag of co-favorite, having only lost one match all season.

mriiidula , 5/12/11 10:55 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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