Novak Djokovic: ‘Roger Federer can play every shot with ease’ 

Ever since he made the first professional steps, Novak Djokovic was among the notable youngsters on the ATP Tour, gaining over 100 positions on the ATP list in 2005 and improving his game even more in the following season. Starting 2006 from outside the top-70, Djokovic reached his first Major quarter-final at Roland Garros, won the first ATP title in Amersfoort in July and played in another final a week later in Umag. By the end of the year, Novak claimed the crown in Metz, entered the top-20 and gained a boost ahead of 2007 when he chased even higher goals. Working hard in the offseason, Novak was ready to prove his quality in the season’s opening events, winning the third ATP title in Adelaide and standing strong after the first three rounds at the Australian Open. Losing in the first round in Melbourne in 2005 and 2006, Djokovic toppled Nicolas Massu after losing only two games and dominated against Feliciano Lopez too to book a place in the third round.

Novak Djokovic praised Roger Federer ahead of their 2007 Australian Open clash.

The Serb ousted Danai Udomchoke 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in two hours and 45 minutes, controlling the pace with seven breaks and missing the opportunity to deliver another victory in straight sets after serving for the third. Udomchoke stayed focused to steal the set and prolong the encounter, but he had to admit the defeat, as Novak proved to be too strong in the fourth. With that triumph, Djokovic set the clash against world no. 1 Roger Federer, losing to the Swiss twice in 2006 and hoping to change that in Melbourne. After beating Udomchoke, Novak praised Federer and his abilities to hit every shot with ease and play on a high level in an aggressive or defensive style. 

“In the previous season, there were many situations when I could have won the points and matches at the net but didn’t go for it and stayed back. I sat down with my coach, and we talked about that, working a lot to improve that element, as I believe that’s the game’s future. Tennis has changed a lot, and you have to bring all the elements together if you want to chase the big titles. Fifteen years ago, tennis was serve & volley, while there are only a couple who do that all the time today. Federer can play everything with ease; he can serve & volley, play aggressive tennis or defend if that’s required. That kind of game brings you excellent results, and it will work in the future as well. I will try to implement that because I think I have a good game from the baseline, with aggressive and consistent strokes. I only have to use my opportunities to rush to the net, and that’s why I worked more on my volleys,” Novak Djokovic said. 

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