Djokovic comes from same stock as other sport icons

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Ten­nis star No­vak Djokovic, who won a record fifth In­dian Wells ti­tle on Sun­day, says when he is at the top of his game it feels like he is "in the zone". Djokovic has been ranked No. 1 in the world since July 2014 and cred­its his mag­i­cal run of suc­cess to not only a strict rou­tine off the court, but in­cred­i­ble in­stincts on the court. Djokovic de­scribes it as "pat­tern recog­ni­tion" - re­act­ing and re­mem­ber­ing both con­sciously and sub­con­sciously to what his op­po­nent is do­ing then cap­i­tal­is­ing on that.

"Sub­con­scious and con­scious are di­rectly linked. When you're able to un­der­stand both and grasp both sides, you're able to be in the present mo­ment, which I think most of the pro­fes­sional ath­letes call in the zone kind of mo­ment," Djokovic said fol­low­ing his 6-2, 6-0 de­mo­li­tion of Cana­dian Mi­los Raonic on Sun­day. "Con­scious, I think touches the ma­te­rial, phys­i­cal part, where you can ac­tu­ally do some­thing that's tan­gi­ble, which means pre­pare your­self men­tally with video anal­y­sis, the data, the stats, the pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ences. "Sub­con­sciously, I think it re­lates to your­self and how well you're mov­ing and how fo­cused you are on the court and on your op­po­nent." Djokovic, who is one of just three play­ers to have more than 700 ca­reer wins, shares the same cham­pi­onship pedi­gree as a Michael Jor­dan, Tiger Woods, LeBron James or Tom Brady.

Think­ing the same thing "I can see that there is a lot of pro­fes­sional ath­letes at the very top level in dif­fer­ent sports that ex­plain it in maybe dif­fer­ent words, but they are think­ing about more or less the same thing that I'm think­ing about," Djokovic said.

"It all comes down to more or less the same thing, be­ing able to use and max­i­mize your po­ten­tial as an ath­lete in ev­ery as­pect of your be­ing." Djokovic needed just 77 min­utes to take down the hard-serv­ing Raonic, who reg­u­larly clocks first serves at 140 mph (225 km/ph) and is off to a ca­reer best 14-2 start this sea­son. "All the top play­ers have a very high level of sports and ten­nis in­tel­li­gence oth­er­wise they wouldn't be here. "There are peo­ple who rely more on the math­e­mat­i­cal side and there are peo­ple who rely more on gut feel­ing, in­stinct and kind of fig­ur­ing out the sit­u­a­tions and do­ing what they think is most ap­pro­pri­ate at the time. "I be­lieve the best way is some­where in the middle." It is go­ing to take that kind of ded­i­ca­tion and de­vo­tion to get Djokovic over the next big chal­lenge in his ca­reer - win­ning a French Open. He is hop­ing his third straight In­dian Wells crown will fi­nally be a step­ping stone to his maiden win in Roland-Gar­ros, com­plet­ing the ca­reer Grand Slam. "Roland Gar­ros has been and is this year again one of the top pri­or­i­ties of the sea­son," he said. "I grew up on clay, I love play­ing on clay. I still haven't won that Grand Slam played on clay courts, but I have got­ten very close a cou­ple of times and I know that it doesn't take too much more to win the tro­phy."

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