Novak Djokovic likened his relationship with the Australian Open to “a love affair” Sunday, admitting he nonetheless will get nervous strolling on court docket regardless of his years on the prime. The 33-year-old opens his marketing campaign for an unprecedented ninth title at Melbourne Park, and 18th Grand Slam crown, on Monday in opposition to France’s Jeremy Chardy, and he’s already feeling jittery.
“Each match, each match. Each single match,” he mentioned when requested he nonetheless bought nervous regardless of being in his seventeenth Australian Open.
“I do not need to communicate on behalf of the opposite athletes, however I simply really feel prefer it’s virtually unimaginable to get rid of that form of strain, anticipation, the nerves coming into any match actually for an athlete.
“It is simply that I managed over time to coach myself,” he added.
“I feel with the expertise and with additionally the dedication that I had off the court docket to the psychological preparation, that helped me react higher to these form of feelings.
“But it surely’s nonetheless there. I do not suppose it is ever going to go away. I imply, particularly when the event is huge, while you’re enjoying for the largest trophies.”
Djokovic claimed his seventeenth Grand Slam in final yr’s gripping last in Melbourne, when he got here again from 2-1 all the way down to edge Austria’s Dominic Thiem in 5 units.
– ‘Nice sensation’ –
It was his solely main success final yr as appears to be like to shut in on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who each have 20 every.
The Serb mentioned he hoped being again on Rod Laver Enviornment would encourage him to a different title.
“Nicely, it is a love affair,” he mentioned of the Australian Open and its centre court docket.
“I have been feeling extra snug on the court docket annually that I have been coming again.
“I imply, the extra you win, clearly the extra confidence you could have and the extra nice you’re feeling on the court docket. It simply feels proper,” he added.
“After I stepped on the court docket this yr for the primary time within the apply session, I relived among the recollections from final yr, additionally the opposite years that I received the event.
“It simply provides me nice sensation, nice feeling, confidence.
“Hopefully could be one other profitable yr.”
Chardy is his first hurdle in Monday’s evening session on Rod Laver Enviornment, which should not pose an excessive amount of of an issue. They’ve met 13 occasions and the Serb has received all of them.
Regardless of this, Djokovic is just not taking his opponent flippantly.
“I have not performed him shortly now. He is a really skilled participant. He is been on the tour for lots of years. He has a giant serve and large forehand,” he mentioned.
“However clearly enjoying ATP Cup and having 4 matches, two singles, two doubles, on Rod Laver Enviornment helps to arrange properly for Australian Open I feel.
“In order that’s a constructive clearly of getting already numerous match time on the court docket the place I will begin my Australian Open 2021 tomorrow evening.”
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