Djokovic 'home' in Australia as 18th Slam title beckons | Daily News

Djokovic 'home' in Australia as 18th Slam title beckons

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Melbourne, Sunday: World number one Novak Djokovic declared himself "home" Sunday as he gears up for an unprecedented ninth Australian Open title, warning he grows in confidence the more he plays at Melbourne Park.

The Serbian star won the first of his 17 Grand Slam crowns in Australia in 2008 and Rod Laver Arena has since become his most successful court.

After struggling with blisters during an exhibition in Adelaide on Friday, playing only one of his two scheduled sets, he said he was now "fine" ahead of his season debut in the ATP Cup this week then the Australian Open on February 8.

"It does feel like a home for me in Australia, in Melbourne, particularly in Rod Laver," said Djokovic.

"That is by far my most successful tennis court in my career. Had some profound memories in the last 15 years, and you know, won my first Grand Slam back in 2008.

"Had probably the most exciting matches played on this court, and definitely the longest match ever that I played was in the finals, almost six hours with Rafa (Nadal) in 2012."

And he said being back on Rod Laver Arena rekindled "beautiful memories", which he plans to use to his advantage when the opening Grand Slam of the year gets under way. AFP