Novak Djokovic of Serbia is seen with a Koala during a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Wednesday, January 1, 2020. World number two ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic is in Brisbane to compete in the ATP Cup which will feature tennis players from 24 countries going head-to-head in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Novak Djokovic of Serbia is seen with a Koala during a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Wednesday, January 1, 2020. World number two ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic is in Brisbane to compete in the ATP Cup which will feature tennis players from 24 countries going head-to-head in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Djoker hoping Brisbane start provides Open edge

He's already won seven Australian Opens but Novak Djokovic says basing his lead-up in south-east Queensland for the year's first Grand Slam event has him primed for new heights.

 

World No.2 Djokovic cut a relaxed figure at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary on Wednesday with Team Serbia, but The Djoker's preparations have been no laughing matter.

 

The 32-year-old declined a shot at his third Qatar Open crown for the chance to play in the inaugural ATP Cup, which he believes will be ideal preparation for his Australian Open defence.

 

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Novak Djokovic says he loves spending time with animals.
Novak Djokovic says he loves spending time with animals.

"I'm still getting acclimatised a little bit," Djokovic said.

 

"Back in Europe, it's not as warm as here this time of year so it takes a little bit of time.

 

"I think it can help because I'm here earlier than most of the years … and I love being here - it hits me with positive energy.

 

"Coming into Melbourne, hopefully I can bring my A-game. A lot of the guys in the (ATP Cup) team are friends of mine in private life as well so it's a lot of intensity on the court - great practices but also a lot of fun."

 

Djokovic also made note of the bushfire crisis ravaging Australia, with the self-confessed outdoorsman lending his support to the cause.

 

"It was really sad to see how many people and animals have been affected by these fires," Djokovic said.

 

"So it's a mix of emotions (being here) but I'm glad we can talk about it here in public and raise awareness and support.

 

"I grew up in the mountains, I grew up spending a lot of time outdoors in my country so I love animals and I love spending time with and being close to them."

News Corp Australia


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