Inspired Djokovic targets fifth ‘Sunshine Double’

andrew hendrie:

A motivated Novak Djokovic is determined to extend his flawless start to the season throughout the ’Sunshine Swing’ of Indian Wells and Miami.

The World No. 1 hasn’t put a foot wrong since launching his 2020 campaign, compiling an intimidating 18-0 start to the season that has yielded titles at the ATP Cup, Australian Open and Dubai.

Among those on Djokovic’s scalp list this year include Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Gael Monfils (twice), Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov and Diego Schwartzman.

Six of those players are currently ranked in the top 10, while Nadal, Federer, Thiem, Medvedev and Tsitsipas are inside the top six, occupying the five spots behind Djokovic.

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Dating back to November’s Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, Djokovic has won his last 21 matches as he next turns his attention to the first Masters 1000 event of 2020 at Indian Wells in a couple of weeks time.

Djokovic is record five-time champion at Indian Wells alongside Federer and holds a 50-9 record at the tournament.

However, the Serbian hasn’t been past the fourth round since lifting his last title in 2016, losing in the Round of 32 last year to German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.

“I’ve set what my goals are, they’re very clear to me,” said Djokovic. “I’m working towards them. I will try to stay healthy and fit and have possibly [a] great Indian Wells [and] Miami.

“It hasn’t happened for the past three years for me there. I’m really motivated to do well. Also, a lot of points [are] up for grabs there for me.”

Novak Djokovic (Photo by Charles Baus/CSM/Sipa USA)

Djokovic has the opportunity to increase his lead at the top of the ATP rankings over Nadal, with the World No. 1 only defending 135 points across Indian Wells and Miami.

With the clay season starting immediately after Miami (and Nadal defending his usual truckload of points), Djokovic can create substantial breathing room at the summit of the ATP if he can put together a successful Sunshine Swing.

One of just five players to complete the Indian Wells/Miami double – and the only man to have done it on four occasions – Djokovic is confident of repeating the feat in 2020. He famously secured the ‘Sunshine Double’ in three straight seasons between 2014-16.

“Historically I’ve won both tournaments quite a lot of times,” said Djokovic. “I have couple of weeks now till my first match in Indian Wells, which allows me to recover, rest and get ready, be in top shape.”

If Djokovic were to complete a fifth Sunshine Double, he would extend his winning streak to 33 matches.

The 32-year-old’s career-best winning streak was an extraordinary 43-match run in 2010-11, which was snapped by Federer in the French Open semi-finals.