Fitness not a concern for dominant Djokovic

22 January 2013 15:01

The Serbian world number one may have been stretched to five hours and two minutes by Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round, but he took half that time to get past Berdych 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4 just two days later.

Questions were raised about whether Djokovic could get his body right, but Berdych labelled the two-time defending champion the fittest player on tour.

Djokovic, 25, said the team around him helped as he reached an 11th straight grand slam semi-final.

"It's flattering to hear that, definitely from Tomas," Djokovic said.

"I consider myself fit. I have a great team of people around me that are doing the best they can in their expertise to make me feel ready physically, mentally, emotionally, every match, every challenge.

"It's not easy to always be at your 100 percent fitness, but after a five-hour match two days ago against Stan, I was quite convinced I could recover for this one.

"The team did a great job."

Djokovic has beaten fourth seed and semi-final opponent David Ferrer the past five times they have met.

He is wary of the Spaniard, who battled past countryman Nicolas Almagro in his quarter-final, and plans to take the match to him.

"I need to be aggressive on the court, that's for sure. I need to step in and try to be in control of the match," Djokovic said.

"Otherwise he makes his own rhythm, he makes his own pace on the court. That's where he's very dangerous. He's a great competitor.

"He's somebody that has a lot of respect from all the players because he's playing so many tournaments and works very, very hard.

"You can see because he's basically in his 30s, one of the fittest players around and is playing the best tennis of his life in the last 15 months. It's the semis of a grand slam, so I expect a tough match."

Berdych believes Djokovic is yet to find his best form at Melbourne Park this year, as the Czech slumped to a 12th loss in 13 meetings against the five-time grand slam winner.

"The only thing I can say that I've played him many matches, I've seen him play way better. He played really good today, but the matches before he played much, much better," he said.

"It was quite kind of a chance for me, but I didn't come up with my best game and that's what was decisive today."

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