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Djokovic dismisses Murray favourite status

January 21, 2009 13:27 IST

Champion Novak Djokovic wasted little time in advancing to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday then just as effortlessy dismissed the pre-tournament favourite status of Britain's Andy Murray.

World number four Murray entered the tournament on the back of a hot streak on hard courts, having made last year's U.S. Open final and winning the Doha title earlier this month, with many pundits picking him as the man to beat at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic, however, who beat France's Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 in their second round match on Wednesday, was desmissive in his assessment of Murray's chances.

"He has done a lot in the last couple months, and he's a very talented player and we can expect him to win some grand slams in the future," Djokovic told reporters.

"But you cannot put him as the favorites next to Roger (Federer) and Rafa (Rafael Nadal) and myself here at the Australian Open."

Djokovic, who initially had some trouble with Chardy before the Frenchman's game fell apart in the second set when he managed to win just seven points, said he was pleased to be considered one of the favourites.

"It's flattering when the people put me in the group of the couple of players that are candidates for the top spots in men's tennis," said Djokovic. "On the other hand, you get expectations and certain pressure with this role.

"I'm just paying attention in my games and my matches.

"I think I'm playing better and better every match, so this is really important. This is something that I planned to do.

"If I keep the high level of performance and good game, I will hopefully get far in the tournament."

Djokovic, who had romped to a 4-0 lead in the third set before his 21-year-old opponent got on the scoreboard, said he could not compare his progress so far through the tournament to last year.

"I'm playing better and better, which is a very encouraging fact for me," Djokovic said.

"I don't think I can compare it. It's pretty difficult because I'm in two different situations.

"Right now, physically I feel better. Game wise it's different."

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