Congrats, Nole! Novak Djokovic won his first final of the year in Dubai today, convincingly beating Spaniard David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3 and showing the tennis world that he’s still a top dog on tour. He didn’t have to go through Federer, Nadal or Murray to do it, but wins this week over Marin Cilic, Gilles Simon and the always tough-to-beat Ferrer should keep the doubters from riding him too hard. Novak’s definitely redeemed himself after showing some patchy form (new racquet), fitness (bad off-season preparation), and focus (feeling the pressure) this season.
Djokovic addressed some of these issues in a post-match interview:
It’s a very important title. I had not started the year the way I maybe wanted to and the way maybe people were expecting me to. I made some major changes— my racket, which was quite risky at this time. But as the season is going on I feel more comfortable with the racket and I feel comfortable on the court more. I try to release the pressure that I have and just play the tennis that I played in the first part of 2008, and if I do so I think I will be pretty successful.
Djokovic will be back in the pressure cooker next week, when he meets Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez in Spain for a mouth-watering Davis Cup tie.
Highlights from today’s Djokovic vs. Ferrer final in Dubai:
Novak Djokovic post-match interview:
Photo: KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images