Djokovic dreaming of Roland Garros crown
No 1 Novak Djokovic enters the Dubai Open trying to keep a tight reign on his dream of fulfilling his Grand Slam destiny and completing his matched set of majors with a Roland Garros title in June.
But it's first thing first for the top seed at the Aviation club with a first round match against Serbian childhood friend Viktor Troicki on the Gulf hardcourts.
"I'm keeping my mindset as simple as possible," said the Australian Open winner whose only activity on court since his third title in a row in Melbouren was one quick Davis Cup singles win. "I'm only looking ahead to my next match, that's how I want to keep things."
Djokovic is holding off the temptation to dream about a Paris title, with the French Open the only major that he has not won.
Though he doesn't want to tempt fate, he might be able to imagine success with the form of long-time clay dominator Rafael Nadal a huge question mark as the Spaniard struggles to come back after seven months of knee injury absence.
"I've gotten better on clay, though it's not my most successful surface," said Djokovic on Sunday prior to a Tuesday start in Dubai, which he won 2009-11.
"But to do anything, I'll need to be physically fresh. Madrid and Rome Masters 1000s back-to-back are difficult and then comes the Grand Slam, where the atmosphere and tension are totally different.
"Things start to change as you approach a Grand Slam."
Djokovic, who went on a tear in 2011 with a record win streak and titles in three of the four majors, was brought down to Earth last season with only an Australian trophy to call his own. He believes that in some ways, 2013 is much easier to deal with than 2012.
"Following up 2011 was going to be impossible and finishing 2012 on No 1 was a big success. After that, there is less pressure on me. I feel great and I'm ready for new challenges."