3/12/13 4:04 AM | Johan Lindahl
Novak Djokovic may be a fast mover once the ball is in play, but the No. 1 is hardly setting any speed records for getting on with the game after a point.
While not as bad as go-slow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, the top seed at the Indian Wells Masters plays in a deliberate manner - and has paid the price recently with warnings as the ATP enforces a 25-second rule between one point and the next.
Djokovic says that it's not always totally his fault, though he hard expects chair umpires to take his point of view. "I'm not blaming (the ball kids) but several times it took them quite a bit to give me a towel, to understand what I want, dropping the balls. So you're losing a lot of time there.
"Then I'm stepping on the line and I see that my opponent is not ready. Then when he's ready, I started bouncing my ball, you know, and then it takes another five, six seconds because I bounce maybe more than my opponents do. That's where I lose the time. Nothing else, really."
The top seed admitted that he was taken by surprise before finally winning his opening match against Fabio Fognini 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 after taking the first set in 19 minutes against the Italian. "I tried not to allow myself to relax and take things in some easier fashion than in the beginning of the match because I knew that he can come back. He can make you work, and that's what happened.
"In a few games near the end of the second set where I could have done the job earlier. I just stopped working with my legs. It happens, you know, as I said, especially in the opening matches where you try to find your game and see where you stand on this court.
"Coming from Dubai, it's a huge difference in the speed of the court. At least on centre court it's even slower than the outside court where I practiced. Dubai is one of the fastest hard courts."
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