Novak Djokovic pinpoints moment he started to believe he ‘belonged at the top of the men’s game’
The year 2008 will always be special for Novak Djokovic as he attributes his success at the season-ending ATP Finals in Shanghai as the moment he started to believe that he “belonged at the top of the men’s game”.
Djokovic made his Grand Slam breakthrough at the 2008 Australian Open as he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final while he also won two ATP Masters 1000 titles that season.
But it was his success at the end-of-year championships, known as the Tennis Masters Cup back then, that helped his confidence to “skyrocket”.
“Next to the Slams, the [ATP] Finals is probably the biggest event that we have in our sport,” Djokovic told Tim Henman in an interview for ATPTour.com.
“It’s probably the ultimate challenge in a season, facing the Top 8 guys of the year. I have been fortunate to experience the Finals quite a few times in the last 10-15 years.
“Back in 2008 was my first win in Shanghai. That was the last year the World Tour Finals was held there and that was very special, obviously. That skyrocketed my confidence and allowed me to believe that I belong at the top of the men’s game with all these guys.”
Djokovic, of course, has gone on to win another 16 Grand Slams and four more ATP Finals trophies.
He will be gunning for a sixth season-ending title at this year’s tournament and asked for some of his best memory at The O2 Arena, which will host the Finals for the last time this year, Djokovic replied: “Winning against Roger in two very close sets in [the final in] 2012 with a backhand down the line, passing shot on match point that was definitely one of the best shots for me to hit on such a big occasion. That’s probably the one I remember the most.”
Daniil Medvedev needs strong clay-court season after previous struggles on the red dirt
Daniil Medvedev eyes fix for his clay woes, writes Oli Jefford.
‘I am really happy proud of myself,’ says Lorenzo Musetti after saving four match points against Dan Evans
Musetti fights back to see off Evans in Sardegna.
Ashleigh Barty and Coco Gauff roll on in Charleston, Garbine Muguruza bows out through injury
Wins for Barty and Gauff, but Muguruza out.
Novak Djokovic’s father takes fresh swipe at Roger Federer, saying Swiss great is ‘not a good man’
Srdjan Djokovic has another go at Roger Federer.
French player hits out at French Open postponement, saying ‘it’s a pretty selfish decision’
Alize Cornet unimpressed by French Open delay.
Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal, to work with rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime
Toni Nadal joins coaching set-up of Felix Auger-Aliassime
Grand Slam Board confirms shorter grass-court season raising questions over the tennis calender
The 2021 grass-court season has been reduced by a week.
Ashleigh Barty provides perfect response to her world No 1 ranking critics with Miami Open title
Ashleigh Barty “has responded perfectly” to critics, writes Oli Jefford.
Roland Garros officials deny reports that 2021 French Open night matches will feature only men
Women could also feature during night sessions.
French Open postponed by a week in hope for more spectators to attend
Main draw event due to start on May 30.