Djokovic: Net rushing key; Slams highest priority for 2014

by: Matt Cronin November 12, 2013

AP Photo

Novak Djokovic says his improved net play has been a key to his recent victories over Rafael Nadal at Beijing and the ATP World Tour Finals.

"He's one of the best defenders in the world,” Djokovic said. “Obviously I know that my groundstrokes are good enough to allow myself to have a shorter ball from his side, and then I need to go ahead and come to the net and go for an approach or winning shot. That's what I have done. Maybe I haven't done that in the U.S. Open final as much as I should have. In our last two matches, in finals of Beijing and here, I've done it pretty well. I feel more comfortable at the net than I was last year, that's for sure."

Djokovic, who has won 22 straight matches heading into this week’s Davis Cup final, said his level of play this fall is his best stretch of tennis since he won three majors in 2011.

“With this particular confidence, I'm getting into the new season that hopefully can be the one for me where I can challenge Rafa on Roland Garros,” he said. “But the only thing I'm not as satisfied about is the fact that I lost the three big matches in the three Grand Slams. The Grand Slams are the tournaments where I want to win, get my hands on the title. That will be my highest priority for next year.”

More Stories

Agnieszka Radwanska wins 19th career title in New Haven without losing a set

The top seed defeated Elina Svitolina, 6-1, 7-6 (3).

At Puerto Rico parade, gold medalist Monica Puig saw island's hope

''I really hope I gave them a lot of confidence moving forward,'' she said about her nation.