Ahead of beginning the defence of his Australian Open title later today, Novak Djokovic has revealed a change in approach with regards to his preparations for this tournament.
The Serb – who is looking to make 2012 as successful as an incredible 2011 – faces Paolo Lorenzi in the first round and has been speaking to betting live pundits about his change pre-tournament routine.
Djokovic said: “I’ve been here since Wednesday which is quite early. The last five or six years I didn’t arrive this early.”
“I haven’t played any little tournaments. I played a lot of matches in 2011 and I feel comfortable preparing an extra week and I hope it works.”
“I’ve been playing the best tennis of my life, especially in the first six months of last year. It probably started here in Australia. I only lost one set and it gave me a lot of confidence.”
“Mentally, I gained that necessary confidence in 2011. I began to believe I could win the major tournaments along with the big names Federer and Nadal.”
“They have been the two most dominant players in the game. They have been my two biggest rivals aside from Andy Murray.”
As for Murray, he too starts his Australian Open campaign this evening when he takes on American youngster Ryan Harrison.
Speaking about this contest, Murray said: “I’ll try to make him lose his temper early. It’s something that helps if you know your opponent can get down on himself and it affects his game.”
“When you see them getting like that you want to try to hit the gas and keep going.”
“How do I annoy someone legally on court? That’s really how my game has worked the last five or six years so I’ll just use a lot of variation, make it difficult for him.”
“He’s a good player, has a big serve, big forehand, but can be a bit erratic. He has a similar style to Andy Roddick.”
“He’s quick and a good athlete so it will be a tough match but I’ll make it as hard as I can for him, especially at the start.”
Responding to questions about his temper, Harrison said: “I am very energetic and it has got out of hand at times but one of the big things this year is to learn how to channel that energy in a correct way.”
“So I am trying to get a lot more positive early in matches.”
With Murray not afraid to show his frustrations either, it should be an intense match between the Scotsman and the American, with Murray hoping his extra experience helps him progress.
Both Murray and Djokovic will hope to avoid an early shock as they get their 2012 season underway at the Australian Open this evening.