Novak Djokovic didn't have very good memories of Australia. However, he is happy about the reception. He didn't expect such things. “I was really hoping to get a good reception and this was more than I hoped for, more than I dreamed of,” Djokovic told Eurosport.
“After all that happened in the last 12 months people were super nice to me, especially the Serbian community, incredible support, I am very grateful and very happy.
To play in that kind of atmosphere helps a lot with the tennis”. Djokovic was nervous before the match with Kyrgios. “I was really looking forward to the match. I was a bit more nervous before the Kyrgios match a few days ago as that was the first time on Rod Laver Arena in front of a full house."
Novak Djokovic and Carablles Barena R
Djokovic won the first match against Carballes Baena R with a score of 3:0.
The Serb had a special tactic for his opponent. "When you play against players like Carballes Baena who is a very good defender, counter-puncher and tries to play deep in the court, you just got to beat him with the pace," Djokovic continued.
"You’ve got to play fast and I knew that coming into the match but obviously one thing is to prepare yourself tactically and the other thing is to execute on the court with nerves and everything during the match.
I think I started off well, it was a close second set, especially the first five, six games of the second set.
Towards the end of the second set when I broke his serve I felt like I was cruising and started to swing through the ball more" He also listened to his coach, who gave him great advice. "I was looking to dictate the play with the forehand, be solid with the backhand and look for the slower ball mid-court to try and open up the court with the forehand and I heard Goran [Ivanisevic, coach] say I should open him up a bit more because he’s anticipating the ball very well, so regardless of the ball you send his way, if he’s there and he reads you, you can block it well, so just try to make him uncomfortable I guess."