Tuesday 20 March 2018

Tennis: New champion 'wants more'

NOVAK DJOKOVIC threw down the gauntlet to his rivals last night when he declared: "This is what I'm born for.

"I want to win more Grand Slam titles. I will definitely not stop here, even though I have achieved the two biggest things in my life in the last three days."

Djokovic said that winning was "the best feeling I ever had on the tennis court."

He added: "Winning Wimbledon, looking at my box, 20 people, the closest people to me in my life being there, supporting me, getting to share that moment and that experience with them was an incredible feeling that I'm never going to forget. This is the best day of my tennis career."

Asked why he had played serve-and-volley at 30-30 in the final game, Djokovic said: "It was now or never. Just close your eyes, hit slice, go to the net, and hope he will chip the one back. In those moments, you have to believe that you can do it."

The Serb ate the court grass at the end because he "felt like an animal". He added: "I wanted to see how it tastes. It tastes good. It came spontaneously. I didn't know what to do for my excitement and joy."

Rafa Nadal said he was beaten by the better player on the day but felt he played the big points poorly and that he had not been aggressive enough.

"I lost because I was playing the best player in the world at the moment and I am the second best," he said. "But my experience says this level is not for ever. Novak's level of today is probably not for ever. I'm going to be here fighting all the time, waiting for my moment."

Admirably philosophical, Nadal added: "Three weeks ago I was winning at Roland Garros. Today I was playing the final here and I lost. That's sport."

Irish Independent

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