Older, wiser Djokovic challenges top 2


MELBOURNE – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic has long threatened to challenge Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s dominance of men’s tennis, and now he may be finally making good on his promise. The world number three, once known for his jokes and impersonations, has emerged as a more sober, reflective figure at the Australian Open, where he has claimed his second Grand Slam title.
Djokovic said he was transformed from the brash 20-year-old who swept to the 2008 Australian Open title against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but who has taken three years to claim Slam number two. “I was a 20-year-old kid hitting as hard as I could with closed eyes and everything was going in back then. It was great. Felt great,” he said.
“Then over the years I faced some new situations, the pressure of defending Grand Slams and things like that.
“You grow up. You get this knowledge and the necessary experience. You just have to accept that as a good school and move on. That’s what I did.” Djokovic has now ousted 16-time major-winner Roger Federer in two consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals, either side of leading Serbia to a historic maiden Davis Cup win at home.