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No opening blues for Novak

sports Updated: Jun 25, 2012 01:19 IST

AFP
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Novak Djokovic insists there will be no hangover from his painful French Open final defeat against Rafael Nadal as the world number one prepares to defend his Wimbledon title.

Djokovic, who will begin his Wimbledon title defence in the opening match on Centre Court on Monday, arrived at the All England Club in good spirits despite suffering his first Grand Slam final loss since 2010 as Nadal ended the Serb's bid to hold all four majors at the same time.

"It's behind me now," Djokovic said. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/6/25_06_12-pg-18d.jpg

"I was so close and there was a slight disappointment after the match because I was aware of the chance that I had in Roland Garros. But the day after I felt good about my tournament because it was the first time I ever have been in the final there. You know, I'm still only 25, so I believe that I have a lot more years and a lot more chances to win Roland Garros."

After dominating Nadal throughout 2011 and then beating the Spaniard in an epic Australian Open final at the start of this year, Djokovic has suddenly found it harder to impose himself on the world number two.

As well as losing in Paris against Nadal, he was also beaten by the left-hander in Monte Carlo and Rome.

Yet the Serb claims his rivalry with Nadal, and also Roger Federer, has played a key role in his own improvement over the last few years that he will relish testing himself against the best regardless of the result.

"Of course, playing against both of them made me a better player."