Novak Djokovic is aiming to claim another Wimbledon title as he guns for his third Grand Slam in 2021.
The world number one is back in Grand Slam action after an exhausting French Open that saw epic matches against traditional favourite Rafael Nadal, and then coming back from two sets down against Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Serb says he is excited to be back at SW19.
'Image not the best' - Nadal criticises Djokovic for 'strange' racket smash tantrum
"I’m very excited, probably along with all the other players when we heard Wimbledon 2020 was cancelled. I’ve had an amazing 2018 and 2019 here, and hopefully I can keep that going,” he told Mats Wilander in a Eurosport interview.
“I’m very high in confidence right now with everything that has happened, especially in that second week [of the French Open].
“It took a lot out of me, I was exhausted after that, but at the same time when you are winning, there’s always that extra reserve, that bank of energy, to fight and that gives you the motivation to keep going.
I didn’t have much time to reflect on Paris and what is happening because three days later I was training on grass, but it’s not the first time, I think experience helps.
'Winning Wimbledon is like climbing Everest' - Djokovic
- Konta out of Wimbledon after team member tests positive for Covid-19
- 'I can play without any expectation' - Swiatek can't wait for Wimbledon clash
Djokovic now believes he is a superior player on grass compared to six years ago, despite now being 34 and presumably close to the last years of his career.
“I’m excited, compared to the first couple of years,” he explained.
“In my career I’ve managed to adapt my game to grass. In the last six/seven years I’ve been playing really well, not afraid to come to the net, play some serve-and-volley which is particularly important for this surface. So I can’t wait for the first match to start.”
Djokovic has been in Majorca preparing for grass matches, and because there were fewer limits imposed as a result of the pandemic, and he now aims to take part in every major this years, as well as the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the Davis Cup.
“I decided that also before the French Open that I’d go to Majorca because I could take my family and spend some time with them,” he said.
“In England it’s restricted, it’s a bubble, it’s a restricted amount of people with you, so there’s obviously different challenges with logistics with family.
“I wanted to combine that with quality training and good quality grass courts. I was very pleased, and had three good quality doubles matches. I worked on my serve and my return, probably the two most important shots on grass and I'm happy with my preparation.
“I knew before this season started that the five biggest goals for the year were the Olympics and the four slams, and the Davis Cup, which I love to play., I always love to play for my country. I’m planning to play at the Olympics if everything is fine healthwise. Knock on wood, I’ll be there.
“I know it’s very challenging for my family life, for my fitness for my energy levels, I’ve done everything in the last three four months to put myself in a good state of mind, body and soul to excel in these tournaments, in order to keep energy levels on the satisfying base and level, so I can keep going until I possibly can.”
Djokovic takes to the Centre Court at Wimbledon at 1.30pm on Monday to contest his first round game with Jack Draper, and he admitted he knew little of his 19-year-old British opponent.
“I don’t know much about Draper honestly,” he said.
“I‘ve watched him play a little bit... [at] Queens. I’m trying to gather as much information as I possibly can about him. Do my homework, get ready for him.
“It is the most unique circumstance and unique match as a defending champion, walking onto untouched grass.
“Playing against the hometown favourite, a lefty, a lot of power, big serve, big forehand, very flat, backhand, he's not afraid to take it on the rise and take it to the net, he looks a complete player and I’m taking him very seriously.”
ATP Washington, DC
Djokovic can still complete the Grand Slam, says Nadal
'Dominant' - Emotional Zverev claims emphatic singles gold