Djokovic to skip Open lead-ups

Novak Djokovic in action.

Novak Djokovic in action.
Source: Getty Images

NOVAK Djokovic has confirmed he’ll attempt to win his fifth Australian Open title without an official match under his belt in eight weeks.

World No.2 Djokovic has returned to play this week’s six-man exhibition event in Abu Dhabi – his first competition since winning both of his singles matches in Serbia’s Davis Cup final loss to Czech Republic in mid-November.


But that will be it before he attempts to win the Australian Open for a fourth straight year from January 13.

“My first tournament is going to be (Abu Dhabi) and the first official one is going to be in Melbourne,” said Djokovic, who also won the Open in 2008.

“I’m not going to play in the opening weeks of the season because I feel like I didn’t have enough time to get myself in the right shape for competition mode.

“It’s why I’ve selected to play only in these few matches here and then move on to Melbourne (to prepare for the Open).”

The Australian Open will also be Djokovic’s first grand slam since adding Boris Becker to his coaching staff.

The 26-year-old feels the six-time major winner can help both technically on court as well mentally in his preparation for events, but says there will be no radical overhaul.

“We’re not going to make any major changes. I already feel like I’m a complete player,” he said.

“He had a great serve and he can help me in different parts of my game on court as well, including the mental aspect.

“So, at the end of the day, the combination of Boris and (head coach) Marian (Vajda), who is still on board and still part of our team, will hopefully be the winning combination for me and (will mean) that I will manage to get better and improve my game.”

Becker has been hired after Djokovic had a disappointing 2013 by his own high standards.

He won the Australian Open but lost to Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-finals and again in the US Open final, as well as losing to Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final.

However he still managed to end the ATP Tour season with victories in his final four events, including a pair of head-to-head finals wins over world No.1 Nadal.


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