Djokovic blames his racquet for form slump

January 11th, 2009 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 11 (IANS) Novak Djokovic blames his new racquet for his form slump. The World No.3, who is not in best of form to defend his Australian Open title, has been criticised for excess golf and partying for his loss of form.The flak was flying around Djokovic after his first-round exit from last week’s Brisbane International, his lacklustre effort against Latvian Ernests Gulbis drawing widespread criticism.

The 21-year-old Serb admitted his decision to spend New Year’s Eve in Belgrade, rather than honing his game in Australia, may have been the wrong one as he looked forward to the start of the Medibank International at Homebush Sunday.

But he maintained his leisurely round of golf in Brisbane the day before playing Gulbis had nothing to do with his straight-sets loss.

“This is something I do to relax,” Djokovic was quoted was saying in Daily Telegraph.

“I have a big rivalry with my coach. The last game I won, so I’m pretty confident right now coming to Sydney playing some golf.”

Djokovic prefers to take off the week before a Grand Slam tournament but said he had no choice but to accept a wildcard into Sydney to familiarise himself with his new equipment.

“I went to Wilson, which I played with for the last three years, to Head and there’s a lot of mental involvement obviously if you make a big change,” he said.

“Of course you have to hit a lot of balls and you just have to feel comfortable. I didn’t feel in Brisbane comfortable with the racquet and with the circumstances, but it’s going to be better.”

Djokovic is intent one enjoying his first visit to Sydney.

“I’ve heard it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I hope I will have some time to visit the city, but the priority is to play hopefully a couple of matches and do as best I can.

“I wasn’t supposed to play here, but I decided to play because of my lack of matches.”

As top seed in Sydney, Djokovic has a first-round bye and will open his campaign on Tuesday against either Andreas Seppi or Paul-Henri Mathieu.

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