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Rediff.com  » Sports » Djokovic shrugs off ankle scare

Djokovic shrugs off ankle scare

August 28, 2008 09:41 IST

Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic shrugged off an injury scare to reach the second round of the US Open on Wednesday and then said he would have no problems being the party-pooper at this year's event.

The Australian Open champion, runner-up to Roger Federer in New York last year, beat Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in his opening match.

An ankle scare early in the third set proved to be merely a storm in a teacup for the Serb.

"It's okay," Djokovic told reporters.

"It's going to be good in two days, I'm sure. I was thinking more of it than I was really actually feeling the pain, so it's not really a big deal.

"In that certain moment, I felt big pain so I just had to tape the ankle. But it's going to be all right."

Having won his first grand-slam title in January, Djokovic is one of the favourites to end Federer's bid for a fifth consecutive US Open title and rafael Nadal's attempt at his first.

TERSE RESPONSE

The 21-year-old Serb gave a terse response when told that many people would like to see a repeat of this year's Wimbledon final between Nadal and Federer, a marathon match won by the Spaniard.

"I'll make sure they don't have it," he smiled in party-spoiling style.

Djokovic said the experience of playing in front of 23,000 people in the US Open final against Federer 12 months ago had been key to his victory at the Australian Open in January.

"That was kind of a turning point in my career," he added.

"I started believing after the finals that I really can win. I knew it was a matter of time. I just needed to work and really dedicate myself to it, so that's what I did ... and it paid off.

"I (have) had the best season so far in my career and I have a different approach to the grand slams because, as a grand slam winner, you feel a little relief and you gain much more confidence."

Source:
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