Novak Djokovic cemented a terrific 2013 season when he lifted the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals trophy with a straight sets victory over Rafael Nadal. The World No. 2 mentioned that he believes his advantage lies in his ability to rush the net. His approach shots and net play definitely made the difference in their two most recent encounters in Beijing and London.
“He’s one of the best defenders in the world,” Djokovic said. “Obviously I know that my groundstrokes are good enough to allow myself to have a shorter ball from his side, and then I need to go ahead and come to the net and go for an approach or winning shot. That’s what I have done. Maybe I haven’t done that in the U.S. Open final as much as I should have. In our last two matches, in finals of Beijing and here, I’ve done it pretty well. I feel more comfortable at the net than I was last year, that’s for sure.”
Following his loss to Nadal at the US Open, Djokovic embarked on a extraordinary winning streak, that saw him lift titles in Beijing, Shanghai and Paris before winning the ATP World Tour Finals for a third time. He considers his 22-match winning streak to be one of the of best since his dominant 2011 but he intends on focusing his efforts on the Grand Slams in 2014, with particular emphasis on challenging Nadal at the French Open.
“With this particular confidence, I’m getting into the new season that hopefully can be the one for me where I can challenge Rafa on Roland Garros,” he said. “But the only thing I’m not as satisfied about is the fact that I lost the three big matches in the three Grand Slams. The Grand Slams are the tournaments where I want to win, get my hands on the title. That will be my highest priority for next year.”