Motivated as ever to reclaim top spot: Novak Djokovic


"I am going to every tournament trying to give my best, being aware that if things are done right - as I have done this year - I will have confidence in myself". After winning Roland Garros [to complete a career grand slam], I didn't know how I was going to feel.

Novak Djokovic overcame stiff resistance from Feliciano Lopez to book his place in the quarter-finals of Madrid Masters with a 6-4 7-5 win. Perhaps it is because his biceps are less Popeyeish and his body a little older, or that he has dropped sets to Kyle Edmund in Monte Carlo and Fabio Fognini in Madrid.

"I felt comfortable hitting the ball the last few days, physically ready, mentally sharp as well".

"Today is a day to be satisfied, to be happy and to have this trophy", said Nadal. He faced two match points at 15-40 and 30-40 but saved both and won the game on his first opportunity.

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The first set went to a tie break in which Nadal always looked to be on top, but it was not until the fifth time of asking that he was able to win the decisive point.

Nadal had easily defeated Thiem in Barcelona, losing only five games in a two-set victory, but was forced to work a lot harder on Sunday.

"Anything could have happened at the end of the first set, but I think I played well the important points at the end", Nadal said. Still, the second-ranked Djokovic left Spain with reason to feel good about his game. "Sometimes against the best players in the world, you even lose when you play well".

World No 2 Novak Djokovic said he lost motivation after winning the French Open to complete a career grand slam previous year, but now feels he is on the right path to rediscover his "mojo". Following several injury layoffs he rolled back the clock to make the Australian Open in January in a classic match against Federer. Past year he was 31-2 after winning the title in Madrid, which was his fifth of the season at the time. Then he will try to win his 10th title at Roland Garros, where he captured his last Grand Slam title three years ago. I take, as I say, more positives than negatives into the next week in Rome. I did well in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, and also here (at Madrid). He had won seven straight matches against the fifth-ranked Spaniard before Saturday's semifinal, dating back to the 2014 French Open final.