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Unbeaten Djokovic Sets Sights On More History In Indian Wells

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Novak Djokovic explained

Serbian star bids for first Indian Wells title since 2016.

The dust had barely settled on Novak Djokovic capturing his fifth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crown on Saturday and the World No. 1 already had his sights set on his next challenge: the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The Serbian star has already compiled a perfect 18-match winning streak this season — extending to 21, if you count three victories at the Davis Cup Finals in November — and was only half-joking during the trophy presentation when he said he’d like to go undefeated this year.

Novak Djokovic dubai 2020

“Of course, I’m trying to embrace the moment and appreciate where I am,” admitted Djokovic, during the post-final press conference following his victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas. “I think this has been one of the best starts of all seasons I had in my career. I feel great on the court. I’ve been playing great tennis on the hard court that is my most successful and preferred surface.

“I’m just grateful that I’m playing well, feeling well. I’ve won many matches now in a row. I’ll try to keep that run going. It’s just way too early to speak about how long that run might go, the calculations. I try not to think about predictions.”

Djokovic shows no signs of ending his unbeaten run, which will be a worry for his ATP Tour rivals. Coming up is the first >ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the year that begins on 12 March in Indian Wells, where Djokovic is a record-equalling five-time champion alongside Roger Federer.

Novak Djokovic raise trophy

“I’ve set what my goals are, they’re very clear to me,” said Djokovic, who has a 50-9 record in Indian Wells, but hasn’t lifted the title since 2016. “I’m working towards them. I will try to stay healthy and fit and have possibly [a] great Indian Wells [and] Miami. It hasn’t happened for the past three years for me there. I’m really motivated to do well. Also, a lot of points [are] up for grabs there for me.”

As one of five players — also Pete Sampras (1994), Marcelo Rios (1998), Andre Agassi (2001) and Roger Federer (2005-06, ‘17) — to complete the Indian Wells-Miami title double, Djokovic will now prepare to clinch both Masters 1000 crowns in the same year for the fifth time (2011, 2014-16).

Novak Djokovic

“Historically I’ve won both tournaments quite a lot of times,” said Djokovic, who, with Agassi, has won a record sixth Miami Open presented by Itau titles. “I have couple of weeks now till my first match in Indian Wells, which allows me to recover, rest and get ready, be in top shape.”

The 32-year-old has achieved 21 consecutive victories (or better) on seven occasions in his career, including a career-best 43-match winning run in 2010-2011. So far in the 2020 season, Djokovic has helped Serbia capture the inaugural ATP Cup title and won an eighth Australian Open crown.

“I find motivation in the small things and details,” said Djokovic. “The biggest motivation is my self-growth as a player and as a person… Then, of course, I get inspired and motivated by the goals that I set. That’s why I play professional tennis. It’s why I compete.

Novak Djokovic

“The season, as I said, started in a most perfect way possible. I am aware of the fact that most of the matches that I’m going to play, the players will not have much to lose. They will go out and try to play their best and stop the streak. At the same time the more I win, the more confident and comfortable I feel playing [the] next match and competing and really performing well.”

Djokovic’s winning streak almost ended in the Dubai semi-finals on Friday, but the World No. 1 saved three match points against Gael Monfils, who has already captured two ATP Tour titles in 2020.

“Those Are Very Private Things”- Novak Djokovic Opens Up on Stefanos Tsitsipas’ Parents
Novak Djokovic and Stephanos

Stefanos Tsitsipas laid out some interesting thoughts at one of his press conferences during the Dubai Open. He talked about the struggles of having his family around at all times and being well-involved in his career. Novak Djokovic gave us his thoughts on the matter as well.

Tsitsipas had a good couple of weeks at the Marseille Open and Dubai Open in February. While he did win the Open 13 title in Marseille, he had to settle for a runners-up medal in Dubai. Djokovic made short work of the Greek youngster as he strolled to a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Stephanos Tsitistpas

Stefanos is coached by his father, Apostolos Tsitsipas. As you can imagine, it isn’t always easy to balance that relationship between a coach and a player. Add to that the fact that the coach is also the father, and the relationship becomes even more intricate.

Earlier in the event, Tsitsipas had talked about his parents and how it can be difficult to have them around and involved in his career. He talked about the stress that comes along with having his father as his coach, among other things.

“I understand Stefanos”- Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic was asked about his take on the matter. As always, the Serb had some wise words for us.

Firstly he talked about achieving success at a young age.

Novak Djokovic rejoice

“It’s very subjective and very individual. I understand Stefanos. I haven’t heard him speak about that or read that. But you go through the process of self-realization and learning, maturing, then understanding what’s good for you in life, in your career.”

Novak then proceeded to talk about family and career and how the two can grow. But he also respected Tsitsipas’ opinion on the matter, explaining it is different for every individual.

“Look, family and decision making, I’m not going to get involved in that. We all have individual cases that are different. It’s really hard to say. It just depends on the circumstances in life. Depends on what you feel is best. Of course, parents, family members, the closest people in your life that have been there since day one are your greatest support. They want the best for you.”

Novak Djokovic action

He also had some nice words for Stefanos’ parents.

“I know both of his parents. They’re nice people. They really care about him being the best tennis player he can be and also the best person he can be. I think they’re doing a very good job.”

Tsitsipas may have his doubts, at times, about his family being so involved, but it has worked very well for him until now.

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