Novak Djokovic cracked the top-80 by the end of 2005, carving his path towards the very top of men’s tennis and preparing for another notable run in the next season. Despite some ups and downs, Djokovic claimed two ATP titles in 2006 in Amersfoort and Metz and lost another final in Umag after health issues. The Serb advanced into his first Major quarter-final at Roland Garros and began his cooperation with Marian Majda from the grass season, improving his game and earning the spot in the top-20 by the end of the year. Djokovic started to feel shoulder injury in the closing stages of the offseason, still doing his best in Auckland at the beginning of 2007 to win the third ATP trophy and gather a boost ahead of the season’s first Major event in Melbourne. Interestingly, Novak didn’t play well at the Australian Open in his first two appearances, changing all that in 2007 following wins over Nicolas Massu, Feliciano Lopez and Danai Udomchoke.
Novak Djokovic talked about the upcoming Roger Federer clash at Australian Open 2007.
The Belgrade native lost just one set in three encounters, preserving energy and settling the anticipated clash against Roger Federer in the last 16, facing the Swiss for the third time and chasing the first victory. Before the match, Novak joked that he should follow Nadal’s pattern and challenge Roger by playing with his left hand. The Serb was ready to give his best against world no. 1, trying to find weak spots in Roger’s game and how to topple him from the baseline and impose his strokes. Novak took a set away from Federer in their first clash in Monte Carlo in April 2006 before Roger scored the Davis Cup victory at home in Switzerland in straight sets.
“I can take a racquet in the left hand and try to beat Roger, as Rafael Nadal does. I mean, Nadal and I have a completely different game. He is one of the fastest players and a big fighter. He is a lefty and produces those heavy spins that give him the advantage against Roger. I will not go for spins because that’s not my game. I will try to find some weak spots in Roger’s game and win the match, although it will not be easy,” Novak Djokovic said.