Tennis

Novak Djokovic concerned about future challenges in tennis

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Novak Djokovic will go into the 2015 season as the man to beat, once again, after a stellar few months which have seen him easily secure his place as the world no.1. However, the Serb is slightly worried about the competition heading into the new year.

The 27-year-old is currently taking part in the International Premier Tennis League with the UAE Royals, but his focus will inevitably switch to the ATP Tour soon enough; it's likely to be an intriguing year.

RIVALRY WORRIES

Djokovic's Royals defeated the Indian Aces in the Asian tournament, thanks in part to the Serbian star's one set win over Roger Federer. The pair reignited their rivalry towards the end of the season and will be looking to challenge each other once again. 

It's not just the Swiss legend who will be a thorn in Djokovic's side, however. Rafael Nadal is nearing a return to full fitness after a spell on the sidelines; it's the Spaniard who stands in the way of, arguably, Djokovic's biggest priority.

Nadal has a hold of his great rival when it comes to the French Open; it's the only Grand Slam which eludes the seven-time major winner. Rafa, meanwhile, is the 'King of Clay' and has won nine Paris titles in ten years. Only Robin Soderling, way back in 2009, has got the better of the 28-year-old. It was only then that Federer was able to complete his Career Slam, Djokovic hasn't been able to enjoy the same good fortune. 

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FRENCH OPEN AIM

Last year, for the second time in three years, Nadal beat Djokovic in the Roland Garros final, but the latter knows he's getting closer to the elusive bit of silverware.

"I have been pretty close to winning the French Open title and have played a few finals and semi-finals but I have a problem, his name is Nadal. He is not going away, that's for sure" he told reporters at the IPTL.

"I have been pretty close to winning the French Open title and have played a few finals and semi-finals but I have a problem, his name is Nadal. He is not going away, that's for sure"

"I'm going to push hard for it, I'm going to keep on trying each year. Hopefully I can keep on going, I have that self-belief, I know I can do it and hopefully by the end of my career I am going to get one trophy there."

While Nadal, Federer and Djokovic are the usual suspects taking part in the Grand Slam finals - they have 38 titles between them - there are some challengers to their dominance. Andy Murray tried to worm his way in but has fallen away over the last 12 months. 

NEW STAR NAMES

In the past year, both Stanislas Wawrinka and Marin Cilic have managed to pick up their first major titles. The likes of Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov are also hot on the top trio's trail and, with age on their side, it might not be long before some new names are added to the record books. 

"Marin Cilic, Stan Wawrinka and some other players have been challenging and winning against the best in the big event," Djokovic continued.

"The dominance of Roger and Rafa over the years was incredible and then Murray and myself; we got into the mix and us four have been winning most of the big events in last 7-8 years and now it's normal.

"There is a new generation of players who are able and who have the quality to win against the best and they have done that. It will be definitely an interesting year."

"There is a new generation of players who are able and who have the quality to win against the best and they have done that. It will be definitely an interesting year"

Once the IPTL finishes, the players taking part will have the Christmas and New Year period to prepare for the Australian Open. Down Under, in Melbourne, we'll begin to see if the hopefuls have what it takes to challenge at the top. 

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Topics:
Novak Djokovic
Tennis

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