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Novak Djokovic fires ominous warning to ATP Tour after Wimbledon victory


Djokovic Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic described his Wimbledon victory as a ‘springboard’, in what will no doubt be a worrying thought for the rest of the ATP Tour.

The now 13-time Grand Slam champion has played a masterful two weeks on the grass courts at the All England Club, beating Kevin Anderson in straight sets to lift the title for a fourth time.

Since completely dominating all in his path to win all four Grand Slam finals in a row, the Serb suffered a dip in form and fitness, requiring elbow surgery at the start of 2018.

After a difficult few months, the 31-year-old returned to his peak at Wimbledon – and issued a warning to his rivals that he’s looking to take this momentum forward towards the US Open, which starts in August.

‘I understand that people are questioning whether I can consistently play on this level,’ he said. ‘Trust me, I am, too. At the same time I can’t look too far on the road because I have to embrace and cherish this kind of accomplishment.

Djokovic beat Anderson in the final (Picture: Getty)

‘As I said, if you asked me a month-and-a-half ago whether I think I can win Wimbledon, part of me yes, I hope, but maybe I wasn’t that sure at that time of my level of tennis.

‘This is obviously very pleasing and satisfying to be able to play the way I played in the last couple of tournaments, in Queen’s and Wimbledon. This is going to be a huge confidence boost and springboard for whatever is coming up.

‘I really can’t see the future. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I like to play on hard courts. US Open was always successful tournament for me. I haven’t played it last year because of injuries. I’m looking forward to also go out there and play my best and see where it takes me.’

Djokovic will no doubt enter the hard-court season as the favourite to lift the US Open title.

Djokovic defeated Nadal at Wimbledon (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Rafael Nadal is the defending champion at Flushing Meadows, and Djokovic believes his semi-final win over the Spanish world No. 1 could be his most important to date.

‘I lost quarterfinals of Roland Garros. There was a similar fight, long match. I wasn’t playing my best in the decisive moments,’ he added.

‘That was something that I was missing, to be honest, that kind of competitive match play feeling of being toe-to-toe with an opponent in a big match in the later stages of Grand Slams.

‘Playing against Nadal in the semi-finals here was the biggest test that I could have specifically for that, just to see whether I can prevail.

Djokovic is full of confidence (Picture: Getty)

‘That’s why I spend a lot of energy and I put a lot of effort to win that match because I knew on a short run and long run how much that will mean to me and how much it means to me, to my confidence.

‘Obviously I didn’t have a day in between semi-finals and finals. Right now it’s great, but ideally maybe a day would be even better in between. But I did all I could to recover.

‘I felt really, really good today. I thought the first two sets against Kevin today, even though you could feel he was nervous, you could feel that he wasn’t playing at his best, was making a lot of errors, but I thought that I was very, very solid. Probably the two best sets I’ve played in a long time.’





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