valid dumps

Djokovic’s ironman qualities tested again in Melbourne

MELBOURNE – Novak Djokovic once had a reputation for wilting when the physical strain became too much – not anymore.

In 2009, extreme heat forced him to retire during the quarter-finals at the Australian Open. The Serb was the defending champion and attracted some opprobrium from local media for his perceived lack of heart.

Djokovic, however, has embarked on brutal off-season conditioning programs in the last few years to ensure he does not repeat the experience, particularly at Melbourne Park.

The benefits of the work, which he refuses to discuss publicly rather than in broad generalizations, has never been more evident than the last two years in Melbourne.

In 2012, the Serb took almost five hours to defeat Andy Murray in the semi-finals and lay exhausted on the court unable to brush away moths that were fluttering around his face and arms.

Two days later, he went even deeper into the balmy Melbourne night as he and Rafa Nadal slugged it out for five hours, 53 minutes, the longest grand slam final recorded, before he prevailed 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5.

Such was the exertion, both players slumped on chairs brought out for them during the presentation of the trophies.

Djokovic had to dig deep into the wells of his ironman reserve again this year when 15th-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka pushed him to his limits in a five hour, five-set thriller that ended at 0140 local time on Monday.

While exhausted immediately after the match against Wawrinka the world number one, however, was certain the experiences in 2012 would only help as he fine tuned preparations for his quarter-final against Tomas Berdych on Tuesday.

“I’ve been in those situations before,” Djokovic said.

“I remember most recently, when I won against Murray in the semis after five hours and then played against Rafa almost six hours, I know I can recover. I know I have it in me.”

Djokovic’s sleep has been affected by his late nights in Melbourne, often not emerging until the early afternoon, and he said after his battle with Wawrinka he already felt like he was at the end of the tournament rather than just halfway through it.

“There is no doubt I’m not very fresh. It’s normal to expect after five hours of play,” he said.

“But in the end these kind of matches, after five hours, definitely help your confidence.

“These are the matches that you live for, you practice for. You want to be on the centre court and play on such a high level for five hours.

“It’s incredible.”

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)

Read more :
  • Jordi Alba out as Spain face France in a must-win tie
    The prospect of the reigning world champions missing next year's World Cup finals in Brazil will become a very real one if stumbling Spain suffer another slip-up in France on Tuesday evenin...
  • FA Cup semi-final dates confirmed
    The Football Association confirmed on Friday that the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and either Manchester United or Chelsea will take place on Sunday, April 14, with a 1600GMT k...
  • UE Red Warriors ready to wreak havoc in Season 76
    The University of the East Red Warriors are all set for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 76 which will begin on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pas...
  • Rafael Nadal loss “biggest upset in betting history”
    Ladbrokes have hailed Rafael Nadal's shock defeat at the hands of world number 100 Lukas Rosol as the "biggest upset in betting history". Nadal went a set up after a hard-fought tie-break ...
  • Pune FC take on Dempo SC with an eye of moving up
    Pune FC eyes defending champions Dempo SC irregular form to gain places on the I-League table at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi, here on Thursday. Eager to forget t...
  • Ferrer survives huge Almagro scare to reach semis
    MELBOURNE - Fourth seed David Ferrer stared defeat full in the face three times but battled back to beat fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 4-6 4-6 7-5 7-6 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the ...
  • NCAA Season 89 unfolds
    San Beda College commences its campaign for a fourth straight title with a bout against host Saint Benilde College while title contenders San Sebastian College-Recoletos Stags and Letran Kn...
  • PH junior chess team bags 5 medals in Iran meet
    The national junior chess team bagged two gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the 2013 Asian Youth Chess Championship held in Sari, Iran. International Master (IM) Jan Emmanuel Garci...