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Djokovic sets sights on elusive French Open
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - In years past, Novak Djokovic marked his victories at the Australian Open with rowdy late-night celebrations and bleary-eyed photo shoots the next morning in downtown Melbourne.
This year’s win made history but inspired a more sober reaction.
Instead, he booked an early Monday flight home to start preparing for his next challenge: the clay courts of Europe.
The Serb has the Davis Cup next weekend and a few months away is the French Open _ the one major that has eluded him. Djokovic now has six Grand Slam tournament trophies, four overall from the Australian Open and one each from Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2011. He came close last year at Roland Garros, but lost in the final to clay-court master Rafael Nadal.
His goal for the year is a big one, he said, when asked if he would choose a Roland Garros title over his No. 1-ranking.
“I’ll take everything,” the 25-year-old Djokovic said. “I have no reason not to be confident in myself.”
The elite group Djokovic heads includes No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 3 Murray and Nadal, whose creaky knees caused him to sit out this tournament and yield his No. 4 ranking to David Ferrer. Djokovic beat Ferrer in an 89-minute semifinal he said he played “perfectly.”
His 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 victory over Murray on Sunday night showed his mental toughness and supreme fitness in a match that contained riveting rallies between two of the best returners in the game.
“I’m full of joy right now,” Djokovic said. “It’s going to give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, that’s for sure.”
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