I want more grand slams, says bleary-eyed Djokovic

Tuesday, 1 February 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

MELBOURNE, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic belted out Serbian folk songs in an all-in party after clinching the Australian Open, but shrugged off a poor night’s sleep to focus on more glory on the clay-courts of Roland Garros.

“We brought two Serbian guys who played our traditional music for two hours ... We went out of the changing room at 2 a.m. That’s all I remember,” said a glassy-eyed Djokovic of celebrations at Melbourne Park after his stunning straight sets victory over Briton Andy Murray.

“I was carrying myself plus my bags and the trophy,” he told a small group of reporters on Monday.

“I was handling myself under the circumstances quite good ... I could not really sleep because I was still under the great impression of winning a title, so it was hard because of the excitement.”

Wearing jeans and a T-shirt on a sweltering day, the lanky 23-year-old looked a little worse for wear as he sat next to the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

He perked up enough to gush about having hit his stride after fighting years of doubt as a one-slam wonder since taking his first title at Melbourne Park in 2008.

“It’s been a period of ups and downs for me the last three years ... I haven’t had that consistency and self-belief that I’ve needed to.

“Right now and the last six months, I feel that I’ve reached that stage that I believe that I can really win it.”

“In last two months I’m probably playing the best tennis of my life and I cannot ask for a better start to the season. To be able to win the grand slam gives you a lot of confidence.”

Djokovic set up his title with a semi-final trouncing of Roger Federer, and his domination of Murray has fuelled talk of a new grand slam triumvirate, with the Serbian tipped to share more of the grand slam spoils with the Swiss master and Spaniard Rafa Nadal.

While flattered, the Belgrade-born baseliner said he still needed to prove himself on all surfaces to feel comfortable about the compliment.

“If the people want to call me a part of the big three, then that’s great. I have big respect for Federer and Nadal, they are great examples of champions on and off the court in every sense.

“If I want to become the best player in the world, I will have to win more grand slams,” added Djokovic, who has never surpassed the semi-finals at Roland Garros or Wimbledon.

“But yes, my goal you can say is (not only) to do well on clay, but to do my best result on Roland Garros.”

Clijsters moves up world rankings

Australian Open winner Kim Clijsters has risen to second place in the world rankings and within close range of Caroline Wozniacki who holds on to the top spot despite once again failing to win a Grand Slam title.

China’s Li Na, who lost in Saturday’s final in Melbourne, moves up to a career-best seventh place with Francesca Schiavone of Italy up to fourth behind Vera Zvonareva.

Former No.1 one Serena Williams, who has not played since winning the Wimbledon title last year, falls out of the top 10 enabling Sam Stosur to rise one spot to world No.5 despite her third round loss at the Australian Open.

WTA world top 10:

1. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)         8655 pts

2. Kim Clijsters (BEL)         8515 (+1)

3. Vera Zvonareva (RUS)         7405 (-1)

4. Francesca Schiavone (ITA)     5055 (+3)

5. Samantha Stosur (AUS)         4862 (+1)

6. Venus Williams (USA)         4645 (-1)

7. Li Na (CHN)             4450 (+4)

8. Jelena Jankovic (SRB)         4385

9. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)         3935

10. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)     3340 (+4)