World number 2 and reigning US Open title-holder Novak Djokovic has spoken of his disappointment at Lance Armstrong recently, following the famous cyclist’s doping downfall.
Armstrong, who has had his seven Tour de France titles (won between 1999 and 2005) stripped by the US Anti-Doping Agency, has confirmed that he would not be fighting the doping charges that have been brought against him. Upon hearing the story, Djokovic was disappointed ‘”as an athlete, because I know how much it takes to get to where we are and on the top of our own sport, how much sacrifice, commitment, hard work”
Comparing the two disciplines of professional cycling and tennis, the Serbian was relieved and “happy that in tennis we do not have many cases and we are trying to keep that going to…protect the integrity of the sport.”
Always keen to be a role model, especially to those youngsters who are already involved in sporting disciplines, Djokovic has his sights set firmly on repeating his success at the US Open this year. Speaking of how he feels “physically stronger and better prepared” than in 2011, the ups and downs he has been through this season, including falling to Rafael Nadal at the French Open and losing out to Roger Federer at the US Open warm up event in Cincinnati, are all part of professional life to the Grand Slam champion.
Djokovic has also dismissed the murmurs that with Nadal’s absence from the tournament and his two other big rivals – Federer and recent Olympic Champion Andy Murray – being placed in the opposite side of the draw that he has been given the perfect draw for the last slam of the season – “I don’t think there is a perfect draw…There are 128 players here who have plenty of motivation to perform their best..So I’m sure that they want to cause some upsets in the opening round.”
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