Appearing to be quite well rested and in good humor as well, new world number one Novak Djokovic met with the press in Montreal to do some pre-tournament coverage for the Rogers Cup.
Limited by time constraints to only a few questions, it was tough to get in-depth with the Serbian star. He did briefly touch upon life as the top player in the world and his outlook on the first big summer event leading up to the U.S. Open.
Djokovic sounded quite level-headed about his new status at the top of the rankings. When asked how it might change him he replied, “Well I try not to change anything in particular, I’ve tried to keep the things very simple the way I have practiced and the way I have approached my tennis career in general up to the moment where I was number one. And from this moment was the same. So, it is true that some things change. The world is maybe treating me differently but I treat myself and my team exactly the same.”
It’s obviously too soon to really say how his new status might affect him since he has yet to play any tournaments since reaching the pinnacle of the sport. It will be very interesting to watch how he handles himself now that there is a giant target painted to his back. Even though he has been ranked in the top-three for what seems like an eternity, there’s a different twist to being above everyone else.
The scrum got a bit of a laugh when Djokovic was asked if it was difficult to stay on top. The poor guy hasn’t even had a chance to defend any points since he took the pole position from Nadal.
“That is something that I will find out,” he said with a grin, “and hopefully that I can stay as long as I can. I will try to go the distance but it’s definitely not going to be easy.”
Djokovic did not reveal too many specifics when I asked him about his post-Wimbledon celebrations but did mention that he found the time to celebrate, “in the Serbian way.” What does this actually mean? For Djokovic it meant, “A lot of fun, a lot of dancing and things like that.”
After building so much momentum over the first six months of the season, Novak talked about how the five week post-Wimbledon break might affect his progression in a season that has seen him go a remarkable 48-1. He chose to focus on the positive in his answer instead of dwelling on how it might bring him back down to earth.
“Well look, you know, I think the break came at the right time for me and for most of the top players. We’ve had an exhausting six months of the year, especially myself. I’ve played so many matches and I was very successful, I cannot complain, you know, but right now I have recharged my batteries and I am ready for the upcoming couple of months.”
With a first round bye and the forecast calling for steady rain in Montreal for the next few days, it might not be until Wednesday before we see how the time off has treated Novak’s game. He opens against the winner of Nikolay Davydenko and a qualifier.
One last bit of Novak info is that he did reveal that he will be entered in the doubles draw with fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic. There will not be a repeat of last year’s partnership with Nadal as their rivalry has truly risen to another level in 2011.