Novak Djokovic made the Wimbledon debut in 2005, reaching the third round and returning as the top-40 player a year later, eager to embrace another deep run at the All England Club. The young Serb didn’t play that well in the first five months of the 2006 season, earning only seven victories at the ATP tournaments and not making progress through the ranking list. That all changed at Roland Garros, where Novak advanced into the first Major quarter-final, toppling Fernando Gonzalez, Tommy Haas and Gael Monfils to set the clash against the defending champion Rafael Nadal.
Novak Djokovic spoke about grass and his game at Wimbledon 2006.
The Serb was unable to complete that one, retiring after losing the opening two sets and hoping to recover ahead of Wimbledon, where he had a notable result 12 months earlier. Heading to London with his new coach Marian Vajda, Novak ousted Paul Goldstein, Tommy Robredo and Mikhail Youzhny, dropping only one set against the Russian to sail into the last 16 where he would face Mario Ancic. After beating Youzhny, Novak admitted that the surface at Wimbledon isn’t as fast as ten or 15 years ago, offering the baseliners a chance to fight for the title like Lleyton Hewitt did in 2002. Also, Djokovic said he would love to become more confident at the net and add that extra element to his game in the years to come.
“The grass is a bit slower than it was ten or 15 years ago, and the baseline players can win a lot of matches, with Lleyton Hewitt conquering the title here a couple of years ago. It’s not everything about the serve and volley, and I’m happy about that since I mainly play from the baseline. Many people have said to me how good my volley is, but I still lack the confidence to go to the net more often. I need to prove to myself that I can do well on the net and use my opportunities when I get them; I hope to improve that in the years to come. I don’t want the crowd to support me because of those rumors about me becoming a Briton but for my game and what I show on the court,” Novak Djokovic said.