Djokovic confident despite run-up losses to rivals

Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:27pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic lost to rivals Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the finals of U.S. Open warm-up events but the Serb insists those defeats have aided his preparations for the last grand slam of the season.

"Of course, I did want to win both in Canada (Montreal) and Cincinnati, but it didn't happen," the top-seeded Djokovic told reporters on Saturday at Flushing Meadows.

"But they deserved to win because they were better players on the court. It only changes in terms of me understanding what I did wrong, what has happened in those matches, analysing it...

"Trying to develop the right approach to prepare myself and to get better."

Djokovic is gunning for a third grand slam title this season after winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns and boasts a match record of 56-5.

The 28-year-old Djokovic won three grand slams in 2011 and considers himself an even better player now in some respects.

"I think physically I'm stronger and I'm able to endure longer than I did in 2011," he said.

Despite defeats in the back-to-back finals, Djokovic had a more successful preparation to the U.S. Open than last year, when he won only two matches in Toronto and Cincinnati before losing to Japan's Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals in New York.   Continued...

Cincinnati, OH, USA; Novak Djokovic (SRB) returns a shot against Benoit Paire (not pictured) on day five during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Linder Family Tennis Center on Aug 19, 2015.  Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports