Tennis-Easy for man in black Djokovic in Melbourne

Reuters

Mon, 17 Jan 13:19:00 2011

* Former champion in menacing form

* Credits Davis Cup win for confidence boost

Dressed in black and oozing menace, third seed Novak Djokovic tore into the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-3 6-1 blowout of Spain's Marcel Granollers on Monday.

The 2008 Melbourne champion raced through the first set without the slightest alarm and secured the decisive break for 4-3 in the second with an exquisite dinked, angled backhand past his lunging opponent.

Granollers, dressed in a red T-shirt reminiscent of the figure-clinging Star Trek uniforms, had no answer as Djokovic opened his shoulders and let rip at every opportunity.

Having watched defending champion Roger Federer ease through earlier, Djokovic laid down a marker of his own and fittingly closed out a lop-sided match with an ace down the middle.

"Just coming back to this court gives me great memories," Djokovic told reporters. "It's the only grand slam I've won.

"You've got to work very, very hard in order to be one of the best players in the world. I'm motivated and as long as it's like that I will keep pushing."

Djokovic is one of the few men to have broken the Federer-Rafael Nadal grand slam duopoly in the last few years and he feels he is primed to win here.

"All credit to Rafa and Roger, the two best players in the world," he said. "But I try to think about myself and my matches. This performance definitely gives me more confidence and enough reason to think I can beat anyone."

Djokovic said helping Serbia lift the Davis Cup for the first time in Belgrade last month had also given him a major boost.

"It meant so much to the whole nation -- it was the best feeling I've had in my life as a tennis player," said Djokovic.

"It gives me goosebumps to think about the celebrations, the last points, the shaving heads," added Djokovic, who with his team mates celebrated by cracking out the hair clippers.

"It was a big confidence boost for me. I've had a very short off-season but I didn't lose the feeling of hitting the ball well. I just feel comfortable on the court."

 

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