Novak Djokovic extended in his winning run in 2020 to 14 with victory at the Dubai Championships over Malek Jaziri and feels ‘working smart’ as played a key role in his success.
Djokovic made the ideal start to his attempt to win a fifth title in Dubai, needing just an hour to beat Jaziri.
The world No 1 was rarely troubled through the match and now meets Philipp Kohlschreiber for a place in the quarter-finals.
With 14 wins, Djokovic has tied his third-best start to a season. His biggest run was an astonishing 41 matches unbeaten in 2011.
On hard courts, in particular, Djokovic is unquestionably the best player in the world and he could go on another lengthy run.
After the match, Djokovic was asked to explain why he had been so successful this year and joked: “I just practise well I guess.”
But he then added: “Obviously I work as hard as anybody else but I think more importantly for me personally is working smart.
“Understanding what suits me best in terms of routines, in terms of modalities of training and recovery and things to do in order to improve myself on and off the court to peak at the right time.
“Grand Slams, especially at this stage in my career are the biggest priority but I treat every match and every tournament as equally important and I try to give my best.
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“I know there is a lot of people who come out, support all of us and expect us to deliver our best tennis.”
Djokovic will face Kohlschreiber on Wednesday in the second round after the German fought back from a set down to beat Egyptian wild card Mohamed Safwat 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
Last year Djokovic was surprisingly beaten by Kohlschreiber in Indian Wells but has won 11 of their 13 meetings.
Nevertheless, Djokovic says he is wary of the threat Kohlschreiber can pose.
He said: “We’ve played [each other] many times. We go back many years [and] we know each other’s games pretty well.
“I saw him play today and he’s a very talented player.
“He’s got an all-round game, I lost to him at Indian Wells last year in straight sets so he can deliver his best game in this kind of matches on centre courts of big tournaments against the biggest players in the world.
“I know what he is capable of and I will try to give my best.”
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