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Campeão Djokovic, cada vez mais número um. Análise e entrevista.

Se 2011 foi o grande ano da carreira de Djokovic, ganhando o Australian Open, Wimbledon e o US Open, 2012 viu o tenista conseguir se manter no topo, disputando três das quatro finais de Grand Slam e ganhando o mesmo torneio em Melbourne. A temporada 2013, com o tricampeonato consecutivo na Rod Laver Arena, começa consolidando a condição de número um do mundo do sérvio.

Djokovic Australian Open campeao

Com muito menos drama, emoção e horas em quadra do que no ano passado quando precisou de 5h53min para derrotar Rafael Nadal, Djokovic venceuAndy Murray por 6/7(2) 7/6(3) 6/3 6/2 para conquistar o inedito tricampeonato consecutivo do Australian Open, na Era Aberta, o quarto da carreira na Oceania e o 6º Grand Slam para a sua coleção.

Federer, Nadal, o próprio Murray, ganham um ou outro torneio de vez em quando, mas aos pouquinhos Djokovic vai dominando o mundo do tênis, conquistando os sonhos de criancinha. Desde pequeno ele já dizia querer ser número um do mundo.

E o mais interessante é que faz tudo isso de uma maneira intensa e leve ao mesmo tempo. Fico perplexa como ele consegue dar conta de tanta coisa e fazer tudo parecer parte do trabalho, normal e divertido.

É intrigante – e isso ele não conseguiu explicar bem – como consegue jogar mais de 4 horas e voltar para a quadra 48h depois e derrotar Tomas Berdych, sem problemas e em seguida arrasar David Ferrer? Não reclamou das horas em quadra, do cansaço, apenas disse que estava fazendo tudo legalmente possível para estar em forma. E estava.

Entre um jogo e outro ele ainda se diverte. Entrou na quadra vestido de médico, no jogo dos Seniors, para acudir Henri Leconte; li que até algumas palavras em chinês ele falou com Jie Zheng; e muitas outras coisas que ele deve ter feito para se divertir que fogem aos nossos olhos.

A vinda dele ao Brasil, alguns dias depois de ganhar o Masters, mostraram a disposição e vontade dele de aproveitar o momento incrível. Mas até aqui fiquei surpresa com a quantidade de coisas que ele fez e todas parecendo curtir cada momento.

Ele tirou férias e que não foram muito longas e agora já está de novo com um trofeu de Grand Slam na mão.

A entrevista coletiva da vitória em Melbourne  – coloco alguns trechos – acho que dá para entender um pouquinho como funciona a mente do supercampeão Djokovic. Um tenista determinado, em busca da vitória, consagração, sucesso, que sabe o papel que tem no esporte, mas que consegue fazer as obrigações do dia-a-dia se tornarem, de certa maneira, prazerosas.

Djokovic Melbourne


Q. How hard was that match for you tonight?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s hard. I mean, when you play one of your biggest rivals and somebody that is in the top form in finals of a Grand Slam, there is a lot to play for. I think it went 2 hours, 20 minutes, the first two sets. I think that says enough about the intensity of the match. I kind of expected that. I knew that it’s going to be physically very demanding, a lot of long rallies, so I needed to hang in there. I’ve done that. There was a few turning points in the match. Maybe one of them was the second game in the second set when I was Love-40 against the breeze. He missed a few shots. I managed have that crucial hold. After that I felt just mentally a little bit lighter and more confident on the court than I’ve done in the first hour or so.

 Q. How does this compare with the others you’ve won, the feeling?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Every tournament, especially the major tournaments, is very special. So every win, of course also adding to that the history part, you know, winning it three in a row,it’s incredible. It’s very thrilling. I’m full of joy right now. It’s going to give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, that’s for sure.

Q. Andre Agassi always played verywell in this tournament. You got the trophy from him tonight. Is there something similar in your attitudes, styles, that means you tend to start the season in such terrific form?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Maybe the style of clothing that we had. He had many colors and I love colors, so on that regard maybe there is some similarities. But, no, also he’s I think one of the players that changed the game – not just the game itself, but also the way the people see it. He’s a legend of the sport, of course. He had so much success. He won everything: Gold medal, Olympic Games, Grand Slam, everything.vAlso he made a huge impact on the sport by changing the style. He was I think one of the first baseline groundstroke players on the tour. Most of the players before him were playing serve and volley. That’s where the game startedvto change a bit and you could have more players winning the events from the baseline. So it was obviously a big pleasure and honor for me to receive the trophy from him.

Q. What are your goals for the rest of the season? Is the French Open a priority for you now?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Priority for me now is to enjoy this victory. In life, you know, you don’t get many of the opportunities to win Grand Slams. As a tennis player, that’s a pinnacle of the ambitions and of the success.vSo I try to enjoy it for few days with the people I love the most, family, friends, and team. And then after I turn to the rest of theseason. It’s Davis Cup already coming up,vindoors, clay courts, next weekend, so that’s going to be a lot of fun (smiling).vAnd then after that, obviously — there is still four or five months till the French Open. Of course, I want to go all the way in French Open.vI went to the finals last year and had a great match against Rafa, but he’s always the favorite on that surface and he’s the ultimate player to beat on clay.vBut I think if I continue on playing well, stay healthy, I can have a chance.


Q. You had tough losses to Rafa and Roger and Andy in the last three Grand Slams coming in here. Going into today, any special motivation saying that you wanted anothervGrand Slam title?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What more motivation you need than from this trophy? Just seeing it and reading the names of the winners in last 50, 100 years, it’s incredible. To be also mentioned in the history aspect, you know, and winning three in a row, it’s a huge achievement. So I’m always motivated in every match that I play on. But of course Grand Slam finals are always bringing something new, something special to every player, and that’s where you want to perform your best.

Q. This final and last year were incredibly physical. Do you get a sense it’s taking stuff out of you or you’re just taking it in your stride?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as somebody that has experiences playing on the big stage in Grand Slam finals, especially against the top guys, I expected that to happen. I tried to use that necessary experience in the past to implement that in my game, in my mental approach and mindset before this final. I didn’t expect an easy match. You never get the Grand Slam trophy in an easy way. You have to earn it. I’m very glad that I’m sittin next to it now.

Q. You spoke about Andre. Are you changing the game, too? If yes, in what aspect do you think?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I leave you guys to judge about changing the game or not. I’m just trying to play this game with 100% of devotion, love, passion, and fun also. I mean, 25 years old and I won six Grand Slams and have a lot of trophies. It’s amazing. You know, I’m just trying to embrace this moment and enjoy it as much as I can and see where tomorrow brings me.

Q. Do you switch from one surface to another surface?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That’s why I said it’s going to be a lot of fun next weekend to see how I can adjust to clay court in indoor conditions, playing away Davis Cup, which is always tricky. But, look, you know, right now my thoughts are going in this trophy, enjoying as much as I can. Hopefully I’m going to have time to recover and get ready for that tie.

Q. Do you think you’re the funnest guy in players nowadays?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Do you think (smiling)?

Q. I also heard from some ballkids, they said you are always humor. I notice you said hello to Jie Zheng in Chinese in the press conference, too. I want to know about your philosophy in life for humor?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s tough to find a rational answer for that question. But the only thing I can say is I try to enjoy what I do and every moment of the life that I have is a blessing. There is so many athletes, professional tennis players around the world and it’s such a global sport, 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 to succeed. I mean, what else can you do but to be happy and try to, you know, bring that joy to the other people around, especially in the tournaments. Everybody has bad days. I’m not always funny or laughing. It’s normal. But generally I’m aware of the fact that it’s an incredible trip for me, you know, being a professional tennis player.


I don’t know if you’re informed or not. I got the permission to leave tonight actually very early in the morning, not tomorrow. So I’m very sorry, and I apologize for not talking to you furthermore tomorrow.The main reason for that is because I want to get to Europe as quick as possible so I can be ready for the Davis Cup tie. I hope I find your understanding for that.

In the end, there is a little tradition that we try to initiate in World Tour Finals in London, the end of the year, the last press conference, gave chocolate to all the people who were in the press. I want to start the year with the samething, if you allow me. Let’s keep it sweet.

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Djokovic comprova evolução mental e física na conquista do Australian Open

Lembro logo que o Australian Open começou de ter ouvido uma pergunta para o Djokovic, após uma de suas vitórias, que me chamou a atenção. A questão era. Desde Roland Garros você vem melhorando de produção nos Grand Slams. Foi às quartas em Paris, à semi em Wimbledon e a à final no US Open. Vai ganhar o Australian Open?

Sim, Novak Djokovic, o “Imperador da Sérvia,” ganhou o  seu segundo título de Grand Slam, convincentemente, derrotando Federer na semifinal e Andy Murray na decisão, por 6/4 6/2 6/3, sem falar do Berdych nas quartas.

Como a comparação da evolução dos resultados nos Grand Slams, a vitória para a Sérvia na Copa Davis, no fim do ano, é notória a evolução mental, física (lembra quando ele tinha que abandonar jogos, especialmente no calor, por não aguentar fisicamente?) e técnica do seu jogo.

Para duelar de igual para igual com Federer e Nadal, teve que  fazer mudanças em todos os planos do seu jogo.

Mudanças que ele mesmo explica e que foram principalmente mentais e físicas. Como costuma dizer o colunista de preparação física e mental da Tennis View, o internacional Steve Jack, não há como separar a mente do corpo. Djokovic comprova.

Veja o que ele disse na entrevista coletiva do campeão do Australian Open 2011.

N  Djokovic – 30 01 11 1

Q.  Do you think you could play any
better than this?  Is it a perfect match that
you expected, that you dream of, or not?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  This was a great match.  From the start to the last point, I did what I intended of doing tactically, what I talked with my coach, what I prepared for.  Physically I was very fit. I had two days between the semifinals and finals match, which was important at this stage of the tournament.  Because I was aware of the fact that I
am going to — yeah, bring it to me.  (Laughter.)  That will have long rallies and I will have a player who doesn’t miss a lot, a very talented player who is one of the best returners in the game.  And, yeah, you know, I had to step in.  That was the key.  When I had the chance to step in and try to move him around the court, that’s what I did.  Probably the turning point was the last game of the first set where we had some incredible exchange from the baseline, long rallies, and some passing shots that turned the
match around.  You know, when you have a set advantage, it’s much different, you know, instead of getting into the match.

Q.  It’s been three years between getting one of those.  Do you feel like now that you’re older and more experienced, it
won’t be as long the next time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I feel like more experienced player.  I feel a better player
now than I was three years ago, because I think that physically I’m stronger, I’m faster, mentally I’m more motivated on the court.  I know how to react in certain moments, and I know how to play on a big stage.  It’s the best way that I could ask for to start a season.

Q.  How did you fix your serve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, hitting thousands and thousands of balls on the practice.  It’s all about hard work and patience, I guess, dedication to the hard work which in the end pays off.  That’s the situation.  There is no secrets.  Of course, I was aware of what I do wrong.  But once it gets into your head, it’s really hard to get it out of your habit.  Everybody was, you know, criticizing me, Why did I change my serve?  I didn’t change it intentionally.  It just came like that.  I worked hard the last 10 months, and
now it’s back.

Q.  You took a tough loss here last year, Roland Garros obviously, and then even
Wimbledon.  Did something happen in between Wimbledon and the hard courts where you regained confidence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Something switched in my head, because I am very
emotional on and off the court
.  I show my emotions.  This is the way I am.  Everybody’s
different.  The things off court were not working for me, you know.  It reflected on my game, on my
professional tennis career.  But then, you know, I settled some things in my head.  It was all on me. You know, I had to try to find the best possible solution and try to get back on the right track.  That’s what I did.

Q.  Can you talk about some of those secrets that you discovered about yourself that helped you get back on track?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  As I said, you know, something switched in my head.  It’s been a big mental struggle, because I was trying to separate my, of course, professional life from my
more private life.  But, you know, if somebody’s emotional — we’re all humans.  It’s not possible.  If something isn’t working off court, then it’s going to reflect on the court.  I managed to solve that problems.
This is all part of life.  Of course, everybody’s facing difficult situations in their lives.  To overcome the crisis and to stand up
and try to still dedicate yourself to the sport was a big success for me as a person.

Q.  You said you were sure Andy would win one one day.  What makes you sure?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I just said.  He’s, first of all, a very talented player and he’s a hard
worker.  He’s been in finals three times, and he just needs to make that final step.
Of course, it’s not easy.  You could see his struggle and frustrations tonight, because he
felt his chances to win a first Grand Slam trophy tonight.
But, you know, it’s a learning process, I guess.  It wasn’t easy for me, as well.  I know
how he feels.  I’m sure that he knows how he feels the best.  He’s still young.  I’m sure he’s
gonna have more chances to win it, so…

Q.  Three sets to Federer and three sets to Murray.  How different were you  feeling against Federer and Murray?  When
you were more worried?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You’re always worried, the semifinals and finals of Grand Slam.
You have your own worries and little pressure and expectations and things that you feel during the match.
But, you know, you work hard to be mentally prepared for these moments and physically fit to overcome the long five-setters.

You know, both of those matches were different, because I played against two different types of
players.  You know, I take always one match at a time.  I try not to look who I’m going to play, you
know, in the later stages of the tournament, even though maybe as a top player I’m expected to.
But, you know, it’s always been like that.  I always try to take one match at a time.

Q.  You have so much in common.  What’s the difference between having two Grand Slams and not having one?  What’s the
difference between you, do you feel?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it’s hard to say.  What do you mean?

Q.  Do you feel for him it’s a mental issue in the big matches?  You looked very confident and strong out there tonight.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it is in some ways a mental issue when you are facing a
situation, playing the finals of a Grand Slam, being so close to winning a title.  Every time you get it there, you know, you want to win it badly, but some things go wrong.  You’re thinking too much.  You’re worrying too much in your head.
It’s a mental battle, definitely.  Bottom line is that this is a very mental sport in the end
.  Everybody
is very fit.   I think tennis has improved so much in the last couple of years.  It’s incredible.  To compare the tennis from 2007, ‘8, to the tennis of 2010, ’11, I have the feeling the ball is traveling much faster, they’re big hitters, big servers.
So in order to keep up, you have to be always dedicated professional and consistent with your success.

Q.  There are a few people saying now that because Rafa and Roger went out before the final, the tide is turning, a changing of the guards, so to speak. Do you feel that’s the case?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Still Rafa and Roger are the two best players in the world.  No question about that.  You can’t compare my
success and Murray’s success to their success.  They’re the two most dominant players in the game for a while.  All the credit to them.  It’s nice to see that there are some new players in the later stages of Grand Slams fighting for a title.  That’s all I can say.

Q.  Some of your footwork was outstanding.  At the end when you took your shoes off to throw them into the crowd, you
took out the insoles.  Do you have to have special insoles?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  That’s the secret to my footwork.  You got me there

Q.  The Davis Cup win and now this, the last two months, has this been the best period in your life so far?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  On the tennis court, yes.  Yeah, Davis Cup title and another Grand Slam title.  I’m living the dream of a tennis player, definitely.

Q.  Are you more focused than ever on your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I’m very focused.  Yes, I have been more focused and dedicated to the sport than I have ever been before.

Q.  There are only two players but Nadal and Federer that have won two slams, you and Hewitt.  Hewitt when he did it, he
stopped.  What do you expect from yourself, to win many?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don’t want to stop here.  Definitely I want to keep my body healthy,
fit, and ready for some more challenges to come.

I feel that I have a good game for all the surfaces.  I have proven that in the past.

Q.  Which ones?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Hard court.  Hard
court is my favorite surface.  Two finals in US
Open and two finals here.  It’s obvious; results
are showing everything.
But, still, I feel I can do well at French
Open and Wimbledon.

Q.  You’ve driven yourself to the point of exhaustion, overplaying, in previous seasons.  How do you avoid doing that again
this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think you’re getting wiser by the time of being a part of this
sport.  You are more aware of the things that you should do and not do.  I was spending too much
energy on the things I shouldn’t spend on.  I mean, it’s school, a learning process.
That’s why I have a big team around me of people who are organizing my time and making me feel a bit released and making me perform the best that I can on the court.

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