Novak Djokovic plans to carry his winning form into 2014 after finishing the 2013 ATP season with a flourish by beating Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 for a second straight title at the World Tour Finals.
But with Davis Cup duties for Serbia calling against the Czech Republic later this week, the world number two has little time to reflect on his undefeated week as he claimed his third season wrap-up trophy following 2008 and a year ago.
“Next to the run that I had in 2011 (43-0 from January until losing to Roger Federer at the French Open semis) this is definitely the second best I’ve had,” said Djokovic, who ended the season with a 72-9 record.
“The most positive thing that I can take from these two and a half months is the fact that I managed to regroup after a few big losses against Nadal, especially Roland Garros, the U.S. Open final and the Wimbledon final.” Djokovic wrapped up ATP business on a huge run of form after losing the September U.S. Open final to his hottest rival in the game.
His London finals victory was his 22nd straight match win since New York.
He finished the season with four consecutive titles: Beijing, Shanghai, Paris and London.
But that just means more challenges when the new season begins in less than two months.
“I will try to work harder and play better, become an even more skilful player. I think I’ve worked on a few things in my game and serve that have helped me win a lot of matches in the last two months,” said Djokovic.
“This is definitely the best possible way that I can finish the season.” Now he hopes to bring another Davis Cup title to his country.
“This can serve as a great platform for 2014 season. I’m extra motivated and inspired to work and get myself, first of all, rested and recovered in the off-season, and then work on my game and get ready for Australian Open,” added Djokovic, who has won the last three Australian Opens.
Djokovic is likely to trail Nadal in the rankings well into the New Year, with the Spaniard having no ranking points to defend in Melbourne. The Serb, by contrast, will need to win the Australia tournament on January 13-26 in order to have any hopes of just staying level.
There will be pride at stake as well, after Nadal took back Djokovic’s number one ranking in early October.
“The year-end number one is deservedly in Nadal’s hands because he had two Grand Slam wins, the best season out of all players, the most titles,” said Djokovic of his rival, who won 10 trophies during the course of 2013.
“Even though I had an incredible two and a half months since the US Open final, he was the most successful player this year.” He continued: “For me, I tried to put aside the calculations and the rankings after the U.S. Open and just tried to focus on one tournament at a time, one day at a time. That kind of attitude has helped me to get to where I am at this moment.”