Saturday, September 22, 2018 04:10:46 PM
Novak Djokovic insists his heartbreaking French Open final defeat has been consigned to history as he begins his Wimbledon title defence on Monday.
The world number one had stayed resolutely out of the spotlight since his Roland Garros upset by Stan Wawrinka ended his latest bid to complete the career Grand Slam.
But the Serb says he is fired up to defend his Wimbledon crown just as he was in 2011 when he captured his maiden title in London.
"I needed some time off, more mentally rather than physically," said eight-time major winner Djokovic who faces world number 33 German Philipp Kohlschreiber in a tough Monday opener.
"I know it could have been useful to play a couple of official matches on grass, but it's not the first time I'm coming straight into Wimbledon."
Djokovic's loss to Wawrinka in Paris was just his third defeat in 44 matches this year.
With the Australian Open already under his belt, the shattering loss ended his chances of going on to become just the third man in history-and first since 1969 -- to clinch a calendar Grand Slam.
But such Paris disappointments have previously worked in his favour.
His 2011 semi-final loss to Roger Federer at Roland Garros ended a 41-match win streak that year.
However, just four weeks later, he defeated Rafael Nadal to secure a first Wimbledon title and then went on to his maiden US Open triumph.
Djokovic is also the most consistent of the top players at the majors-the last time he failed to make at least the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam was at Roland Garros in 2009.
World number two and seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer, who won the last of his 17 majors at the All England Club in 2012, is seeded to meet Djokovic in the July 12 final.
He will be 34 in August-the oldest man to win Wimbledon in the modern era was Arthur Ashe who was 31 years and 11 months when he triumphed at the All England Club in 1975.
Federer fervently believes that another Wimbledon is not beyond him and he was buoyed by his eighth Halle title last weekend.
"If I look at last year, I see more the positives than actually the heart-breaking loss in the final," said Federer, defeated in five sets by Djokovic in 2014.
"I didn't expect myself to right away make the final. It goes to show that last year, I wasn't playing great and I made the finals."
Federer starts his campaign against Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur, who he beat in the French Open third round.
Andy Murray, the 2013 champion, saw his 2014 campaign sabotaged by a combination of back pain and an inspired Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.
But the 28-year-old world number three, fresh from a record-equalling fourth Queen's Club title, believes he's playing better than when he secured his historic Wimbledon triumph.
"Physically I'm definitely in a better place than I was then and I'm using my variety much better," said Murray, who begins his campaign against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.
Two-time champion Rafael Nadal is seeded 10 -- his lowest position for a decade.
The nine-time French Open champion was beaten for only the second time in his Paris career by Djokovic in a morale-sapping quarter-final loss.
He then clinched the Stuttgart grass-court title which only proved to be a false dawn as just days later the 29-year-old was losing to Alexander Dolgopolov in his Queen's opener.
His recent trips to Wimbledon have also been chastening affairs, featuring losses in the second, first and fourth rounds.
Nadal joked that he was coming into Wimbledon fully attuned to being on grass.
"I played golf," he smiled as he recalled how he spent his time at home in Mallorca last week.
Despite Wawrinka's second major title at the French Open, the dominance of the sport's four heavyweights is unlikely to be seriously threatened at Wimbledon where Lleyton Hewitt, in 2002, was the last champion from outside the "Big Four".
Wawrinka has never got beyond the quarter-finals, while fifth-ranked Kei Nishikori can only boast a fourth-round best.
World number six Tomas Berdych was runner-up in 2010 but has since only made the quarter-finals on one occasion.
In the rest of the top 10, David Ferrer has a best of a last-eight spot as does US Open champion Marin Cilic while Milos Raonic, who recently underwent foot surgery was a semi-finalist in 2014.
THE United Nations was established with a mission to stop brutality and promotion of human rights across the globe but at present is apparently helpless to stop the Myanmar military atrocity on Rohingya ethnic community. Though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the ...
AFP, Dubai :India crushed Pakistan by eight wickets in their long-awaited Asia Cup match which failed to live up to its hype in Dubai on Wednesday.Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-15) and part time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav (3-23) sent Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, collapsing to just 162 all ...
Bangladesh U-18 national women's football team head coach Golam Rabanni Choton said they aim to play the final of the SAFF U-18 Women's Championship which is scheduled to be held from September 28 to October 7 in Thimpu, Bhutan.He was speaking at a pre-departure press conference on Thursday at the ...
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said US relations with North Korea are making "tremendous progress" from the days before his presidency when the two countries appeared close to "going to war."Trump said a recent letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un confirmed the positive track, which he said has ...
Actress Yami Gautam, who stars in Batti Gul Meter Chalu, says it is neither necessary nor possible for an actor to do issue-based films all the time. Yami was interacting with the media here on Wednesday at a promotional press conference of the film that releases on Friday. She was ...
Tributes flowed Wednesday for charismatic Japanese Mixed Martial Artist ( MMA) Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, who died at age 41, three weeks after announcing a battle with cancer.Born to a family of wrestlers and martial artists, the wiry, tattoo-covered Yamamoto took on larger opponents in a wide range of MMA events, ...
A STUDY has revealed that 4,300 acres of hills and forests have been razed in Cox's Bazar to set up refugee camps and cooking fuel for Rohingyas who fled ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Quoting the study, news media reported that about 3,000-4,000 acres of hill land at Teknaf and Ukhia ...
AP, Pyongyang :The leaders of North and South Korea announced a wide range of agreements Wednesday which they said were a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula. But the premier pledge on denuclearization contained a big condition, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stating he'd permanently dismantle ...
Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims to have slept with Donald Trump over a decade ago, says in her upcoming tell-all book that it may have been the "least impressive sex" she'd ever had, The Guardian reported Tuesday.In her book, "Full Disclosure," Daniels also provides a graphic description of ...
Actor Hina Khan believes Bigg Boss helped her showcase her real personality, which is that of a woman who does not shy away from speaking her mind. The actor became one of the most talked about contestants on the 11th edition of the reality TV show, which has just begun ...
PAKISTAN government has decided to grant nationality to all Pakistan-born refugees of Bangladeshi and Afghan origins staying there for decades. Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan on Sunday made this announcement during his maiden visit to Karachi, saying the Bangladeshi and Afghan refugees who were born in Pakistan would get National ...
AFP, Barcelona :FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed concern about La Liga's proposal to stage a fixture between Girona and Barcelona in the United States.The two clubs have each approved a request submitted to the Spanish Football Federation for the match to be played at the Hard Rock Stadium in ...