Djokovic Credits Mental Preparation as Key to Overcoming Australian Heat

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One of the ‘hot’ topics over the past few days has been the unusually high temperatures players have had to withstand this year at the Australian Open. Nine players retired from their matches in the opening round of the tournament, some due to the heat and the soaring temperatures have forced matches to be suspended after the tournament referee applied the extreme heat policy at Melbourne Park.

While the heat may be bothersome to some, it did not stop Novak Djokovic from easing into the third round, following two dominant performances in his matches. The Serb admit that the temperatures certainly made the match conditions harder and that is why he wanted to end it as quickly as possible.

“But still the conditions were not easy for both my opponent and myself.  You know, I started the match really, really good.  I was set and a break up only after, you know, 40, 45 minutes.

As you said, you don’t want to spend too much time in the heat.  You want to try to win as quick as possible.  You know, he started to play better as the match progressed, in the second part, especially in the third set.  But, you know, I felt like I was serving well and I was in the control.  When I needed to use my opportunities when they were presented, I did so.”

The former world No. 1 also mentioned that the key to withstanding the tough conditions is by mentally preparing for them. The key to his success has not just been his physical preparation, but his mental preparation as well.

“You know, as I said, we all were aware of the weather that is going to, how the weather is going to look like these couple days.  We knew that when we saw forecast couple of days ago, everybody was talking about 40 degrees and plus.  Knowing that I played a day match today, I prepared myself mentally for that.  It’s not just physically.  Mentally you need to be tough enough to not give up and not think about what conditions can do to you.

It’s not the first time I face myself with this particular weather.  Obviously experience helps.”

The defending champion is scheduled to meet world No. 47 Denis Istomin in the third round.

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