Novak Djokovic broke into the top 80 in 2005, reaching more than 100 positions in the ATP rankings and scoring 11 ATP wins. Novak left the challengers behind, surviving the full ATP Tour season in 2006 and amassing 40 wins to move to the fringes of the top-15.
Still, the young Serb didn’t play that well in the first five months, notching up just seven ATP tournament wins and four more in the Davis Cup to enter Roland Garros from outside the top-60. Djokovic upped his level at the second Major of the season in Paris, defeating Luis Horna, Fernando Gonzalez, Tommy Haas and Gael Monfils to find himself in the quarterfinals of the first Major.
Novak retired against world No. 2 Rafael Nadal after a strong effort in the first two sets, starting with Marian Vajda as coach on the grass court. Djokovic reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2005 and made another step a year later after beating Paul Goldstein, Tommy Robredo and Mikhail Youzhny.
Novak lost the opener to the Russian before picking up excellent pace, not losing serve again and giving up five breaks to control the pace and find himself in week two. After the match, Novak hailed Wimbledon as the most prestigious major and one of his favorite tournaments.
He also ruled out playing for Great Britain in the future as he has been hearing such rumors for a number of years and has firmly denied them. “I have repeated the same thing since Paris and I must repeat it; there is nothing serious between the LTA and me.
The worst thing for me is even these stories about my beginnings as a Briton. I was confused when I saw these stories and they are not valid. I have nothing more to say about that, especially about Wimbledon, which is one of my favorite tournaments.”
Nole Djokovic relaxes
During the interview, Goran Ivanisevic also looked back on a difficult season for Novak Djokovic. “The year has started disastrously and ATP’s decision to remove points at Wimbledon is completely insane and wrong in my opinion.
But an important win for him (Djokovic), he needed it, he showed that he is arguably the best player on grass,” said the Croatian. Ivanisevic reiterated that the 35-year-old really needed to win the title at Wimbledon and the Must-win situation brought out the best in him.
“He really needed it, if you have to win something, that’s the hardest thing. He showed his best tennis back then.”