After demolishing Rafael Nadal in the Qatar Open final on Saturday, Novak Djokovic is in ominous form ahead of the start of the Australian Open.
The world number one made short work of the Spanish 14-time grand slam champion, winning 6-1, 6-2 with a performance Nadal described as “perfect” and “stratospheric”.
“I’m hoping that I can actually peak and play as well as I did today in Melbourne,” Djokovic said after the match.
The victory capped a fine week for the Serb in Doha – he won all his matches without dropping a set, he claimed his 60th career singles title and moved ahead in the head-to-head standings with Nadal. Djokovic now leads their rivalry with 24 victories to Nadal’s 23.
“I know nobody playing tennis like this ever,” Nadal said of Djokovic’s recent form, suggesting that even Roger Federer in his pomp would have battled against the world’s best player currently.
Following his victory in Doha, Djokovic turns his attention to Melbourne for the year’s first grand slam event.
“My thoughts are only directed to Melbourne and what I need to do there,” the 28-year-old continued.
“The week that I have before the Australian Open starts will actually be very useful also for me because I have played a lot, trained very hard, played a great five matches here.”
Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open title in 2015 when he beat Andy Murray in four sets to cap the start of a magnificent year on the ATP Tour. He won three grand slam titles – losing in the final of the French Open to Stan Wawrinka – six Masters Series crowns and 11 titles in total.
The 10-time grand slam winner has struggled with a niggling arm injury during his campaign in Doha, but he doesn’t believe it will be much of a hindrance in Melbourne.
“I don’t think it’s too serious,” said Djokovic.
“I don’t see it as a hindrance, possible hindrance for [the] Australian Open. It appears time to time, but it’s nothing that really is major that I will be concerned about.”
“The real thing is I had a positive week,” said Nadal.
“I am playing well, and I’m gonna keep working hard to try to be ready for Australia. And I think I will be. I am motivated for it.
“And Australia is a different story, different conditions.”