Djokovic draws confidence from first title of year

by: Kamakshi Tandon March 18, 2014

AP

Winning his first title of the year at Indian Wells has helped Novak Djokovic feel more confident about the rest of the season.

The Serb is used to getting off to a fast start. Djokovic had previously won a title coming to Indian Wells every year since 2008. He had also entered the season on a 24-match winning streak.

But then followed losses to Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and to Roger Federer in the semifinals at Dubai.

"Considering the fact that I came into the American hard court season without a trophy, first time in many years, it was a different feel," he said. "I know I play well on the court, but not winning a title and coming here, there were certain doubts."

Even at Indian Wells, Djokovic frequently struggled. He was taken to three sets in four of his six matches, and got broken when serving for the match in the semifinals against John Isner — twice — and the final against Federer.

"But I managed to stay... mentally strong and have that self-belief. I carried that all the way through to the title," he said. "That's something that definitely makes this title very special to me, and it's going to mean a lot for what's coming up."

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