Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lawn Tennis: Djokovic Looks to Build on First Title

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lawn Tennis: Djokovic Looks to Build on First Title

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ronnie Elspin

NEWLY-CROWNED Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic has vowed not to be a one-grand-slam wonder after ending the recent dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic became the first Serbian to win a grand slam singles title after beating French surprise Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7/2) in the men's final yesterday.

The third seed showed why he was tipped all of last year as the player most likely to end the dominance of Federer and Nadal, who had won the past 11 grand slam titles between them heading into this year's Australian Open.

Djokovic becomes the first player other than Federer or Nadal to win a grand slam title since Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open, but the talented 20-year-old, who last year rose from 16th to third in the world rankings, is far from satisfied.

And while he knows his life will change as a result of his first major win he is determined to remain focused.

"You have to be proud of yourself but it is important to keep the balance in your life and that is what I am trying to learn right now," he said.

"I am still young, still getting into the business and more people will pay attention to me now so I have to try and keep my focus on my tennis and that is what I want to do for the next 10 to 15 years."

Djokovic's first grand slam title has come in only his 13th major, and although he has been tipped as the man most likely to dethrone Roger Federer as world number one, the Serbian was determined to keep his feet on the ground.

Djokovic dropped just one set in the tournament, as well as beating Federer in straight sets in the semi-finals, but he had no doubt the Swiss master was still the man to beat in 2008.

"It's my first grand slam win and I am going to take it easy now and not start thinking about reaching higher goals (just yet)," he continued. …

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