Djokovic felt 'like an animal'

2011-07-04 18:54
Novak Djokovic (File)

London - The thrill of a first Wimbledon title temporarily turned Novak Djokovic from man to beast as the overjoyed winner fell to his knees after his victory over Rafael Nadal and took a nibble of the hallowed Centre court grass.

"I felt like an animal, I wanted to see how it tastes," said Djokovic, who begins this Davis Cup quarter-final week as world No 1 on the ATP for the first time in his career.

"It tastes good. It just came, it came spontaneously really," he said of the impromptu victory celebration which also included tossing a racquet into the crowd in sheer joy.

"I didn't plan to do it, but I didn't know what to do for my excitement and joy."

Djokovic will have little time to decompress, with Serbia continuing the defence of its Davis Cup title in this weekend's tie from Friday in Sweden.

But Djokovic admits that winning his third - and most prestigious - Grand Slam leaves him hungry for more than just grass.

"More Wimbledons, more Grand Slam trophies. I mean, this is what I'm born for," said the winner of eight titles who has lost only one match this season while winning 48. "I want to be a tennis champion.

"I will not definitely stop here, even though I have achieved the two biggest things in my life in three days," he said before what was to be a short visit home to Belgrade before flying to southern Sweden with the team.

After winning a pair of Australian Open crowns in 2008 and against in January when he beat Andy Murray, Djokovic knows the emotions that lifting a major trophy could have.

But at a mature 24, he feels more in control of his career.

"I won my first Grand Slam, actually then I started facing some feelings and situations I never faced before: defending the Grand Slam title, being one of the top players, facing the pressure, having the expectations of the people all the time to get far in the major events, to get at least to the semi-finals.

"That was not something I experienced before I was 21. In the last two, three years, I was facing ups and downs.

"I would lie to you if I didn't have doubts - I did have doubts. I did have difficult, crisis times where I didn't know if I could really make it."

But while starting his reign atop the tennis world - the last time someone other than Nadal or Roger Federer stood at No 1 was Andy Roddick early in 2004 - Djokovic is confident that he can handle anything which will now come his way.

"You've got to take the chances. In those moments, you have to believe that you can do it, not wait for your opponent to make a mistake."

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  novak diokovic


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Novak Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, while Rafael Nadal boasts 14. Roger Federer is currently out in front with 17. When all is said and done, who wins more?

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