Tired Djokovic primed for one final challenge

Sun Nov 4, 2012 4:25pm EST
 
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By Josh Reich

LONDON (Reuters) - A tired sounding Novak Djokovic says he will need to draw on all his mental and physical strength if he is to crown another stellar season with the ATP World Tour Finals title.

The Serb heads into his opening match with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Monday safe in the knowledge that he will end the year as the world number for the second consecutive year.

Whether he can add a sixth title to his 2012 resume, which includes the Australian Open, will depend on how his body has recovered since he was knocked out of the Paris Masters by American Sam Querrey on Wednesday.

He admitted after the match he began to struggle physically during the second set, having won the first.

"I want to give my best and at this moment I'm trying to be as optimistic as possible," Djokovic, winner of the season-ending showpiece when it was staged in Shanghai in 2008, told a Sunday news conference at London's 02 Arena which is hosting the event for the fourth year running.

"It's expected to not always on your top form and especially at this time of year the effects of the long season can influence you physically and mentally also, but as I said, this is a very important tournament.

"I definitely want to do well, find the mental and physical strength to perform my best and we'll see if that best will be good enough."

As well as a weary body, reports from Serbia have said the 25-year-old's father was ill, an issue Djokovic was not keen to elaborate on.   Continued...

 
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his match against Sam Querrey of the U.S. during the Paris Masters tennis tournament October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier