Djokovic - Top two at risk
Novak Djokovic believes a rise in new talent could end the dominance Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal hold over men's tennis.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 17/01/10 12:57pm
World number three Novak Djokovic believes a rise in new talent could end the dominance Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal hold over men's tennis.
The Serbian believes the sport has been boosted by the emergence of genuine competitors capable of breaking the monopoly the world number one and two have on grand slam tournaments.
"The last five, six years the dominance was obvious from Federer, Nadal," said Djokovic.
"They've been winning all the grand slams they've played. But now in last two years or so the things are changing a little bit.
"It's good for the sport and it's good for us, the group of the players that is trying to catch up with Federer and Nadal. We have more belief that we can win a grand slam."
Djokovic is one of only two players other than Federer and Nadal to win a Grand Slam title in the past 19 majors after success in the 2008 Australian Open.
Argentine Juan Martin Potro is the other Grand Slam victor following his US Open triumph last year, but Djokovic believes other serious threats to the Swiss number one and Spanish number two include Britain's Andy Murray, American Andy Roddick and Russian Nikolay Davydenko.
"Obviously Federer, Nadal are the best two players of the world are the two biggest favourites to win it again this year," added Djokovic.
"Then you have Del Potro, Murray, Roddick, Davydenko. They're all in great shape, great form.
"I think it's getting very interesting, men's tennis. It's good for the sport to have a good group of the players that are able to win a major event or a grand slam."
Djokovic played at the invitational Kooyong Classic as his only warm-up for the Australian Open, which begins on Monday, and admits he has taken a more low-key approach to preparations this year.
"Considering the amount of the matches I played last year, I tried not to commit to any events and just practice and be fresh for Australian Open, which is the most important tournament," he said.
"I just wanted to get some practice matches under my belt before I come to Melbourne Park. I was focusing on some other things and working hard off court.
"I might not play as well as I did in 2008 from the baseline, but I still have a lot of belief that I have a great game."