Djokovic dismisses fitness concerns

January 18, 2015 14:41:31 UK

Novak Djokovic has been feeling ill in the run-up to the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic insists he is ready in his bid to secure a fifth Australian Open title despite feeling unwell leading up to the start of the competition.

The world number one did not practice at Melbourne Park until Sunday, the day before the tournament begins, with the Serb admitting he has been suffering a “little bit with the flu and stomach”.

Djokovic has another day of rest ahead of his first round encounter with qualifier Aljaz Bedene on Tuesday, a match he is 1.01 to win. Bedene is 26.00 to spring a surprise.

Speaking ahead of the match, he confirmed he is fully fit, saying: “I had a tough couple days but it’s all behind me now. I’m ready for the Open.”

Djokovic will be hoping to perform significantly better this time around than he did last year, when he crashed out to eventual champion Stanislas Wawrinka at the quarter-final stage.

With Rafael Nadal acknowledging that the hard courts are Djokovic’s favourite surface, many see the Serb as the man to beat, but Djokovic insists he is taking it one match at a time.

And looking forward to the encounter on Tuesday, he is aware of the threat that Bedene could pose. He continued: “Obviously he’s going to be very motivated to perform well. He’s got nothing to lose (like the other) lower-ranked players, younger players.

“That’s what makes them really dangerous in the opening rounds.”

Djokovic is 1.90 to win the Australian Open, with Nadal 9.00 and Wawrinka 15.00.

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