Just an affirmation to the first article posted by Barbadosan.http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=57&ContentID=56251Federer looked fine to me, says new champ
29th January 2008, 6:45 WST
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Novak Djokovic says it is unfair to discredit his breakthrough grand slam triumph in the Australian Open amid debate over Roger Federer’s fitness.
Rumours have surfaced that Federer, who was forced to withdraw from the Kooyong Classic the week before the Open with food poisoning, shed 3kg battling fever in the lead-up to his flat semifinal loss to Djokovic at Melbourne Park.
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Federer “looked real crook, really bad” after his first practice session before the Open, an observer said, and it is also questioned whether the top seed’s illness contributed to his dramatic five-set escape against Serbian No. 2 Janko Tipsarevic in the third round.
But as he basked in the glory of landing his and Serbia’s first grand slam event after beating unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-2) in the final on Sunday, world No. 3 Djokovic refused to believe his success was anything other than more evidence he was closing the gap on Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The 20-year-old felt he simply outplayed Federer after “taking the positives and negatives” from his tight three-set loss to Federer in the US Open final four months earlier.
“He didn’t seem at all like having a fever or something,” Djokovic said.
“I think I was the better player on the court and absolutely deserved to win. I was mentally stronger (than in New York) and I played with more patience in crucial moments and I think that made the difference.”
Federer said Djokovic had been too good on the night but added somewhat mysteriously: “Considering, you know, my illness, I’m sort of happy with the result here.”
Djokovic admitted he must now reassess his aims, having already achieved his season goal of winning his first major.
Overtaking world No. 2 Nadal and Federer to finish as the year-end No. 1 was “possible”.
Djokovic, a semifinalist or better at the past four majors, said if he could maintain consistency, reining in Federer and Nadal wasn’t out of the equation. “As a grand slam winner now, people expect me to get further and to challenge those two guys for the first two places in the world,” he said. “I feel much more better, much more confident.”
Tsonga has rocketed up the rankings from 38 to 18 after his stunning effort at the Open, which included a straight-sets demolition of Nadal.
His other scalps included seeds Richard Gasquet (8), Andy Murray (9) and Mikhail Youzhny (14).
The 22-year-old was the only player to take a set off Djokovic.
Tsonga was contesting his maiden tour final in only his fifth grand slam tournament after fighting back from two years out with back, shoulder and abdominal injuries.