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Djokovic Ready To Switch It Up In Eastbourne

Novak Djokovic hasn’t played an ATP World Tour event on grass leading into Wimbledon since 2010, but he’s ready to try something new in hopes of a big run at the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

After more than a decade at the top of the sport, Djokovic’s tournament schedule has reflected that of a man who thrives on routine and familiarity. But in his first visit to Eastbourne, the Serbian has already been enjoying the tournament amenities and charm of this seaside town.

Novak Djokovic is eager for more matches this week in Eastbourne.
“It's great to visit a new place and be part of a new event. We more or less have the same schedule each year, so I don't get to experience that too often,” said Djokovic. “There are a lot of matches and a lot of people coming out to watch and support the players. You can feel the appreciation for tennis that they have here. They love this event, so it's obviously a pleasure to be here.”

Comparatively short on match play compared to recent seasons, Djokovic took a late wild card and believes the on-court time this week can only benefit him. The World No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, who plays qualifier Vasek Pospisil in his opening round, has never won a grass-court event outside of Wimbledon. He reached the Queen’s Club final in 2008 (l. Nadal) and Halle in 2009 (l.Haas).

"I was fortunate to have lots of matches and lots of success in the first part of the year over the years, especially on the clay courts and always reaching the final stages of Roland Garros. And because of the old schedule, we had a week less (on grass), which was a bit challenging obviously coming from the slowest to the fastest surface in the sport. It's a big shift in only a few days,” said Djokovic. “I knew I wanted to play one this year, but thought Queen's and Halle would be too early for me. That's the reason why I came to Eastbourne. And it's a new place, so it does give me that extra motivation to be here."

Djokovic won’t have Andre Agassi in his camp for Eastbourne, but the 1992 Wimbledon champion will be with him at SW19 for as long as he remains in the tournament. The Serbian believes they got off to a positive start in their coaching arrangement for Roland Garros and is eager to see it continue.

“The eight or nine days that we spent together at Roland Garros were very valuable for me to get to know him and learn from him. We shared a lot of experiences on and off the court. Having him around is not only great for myself, but also for tennis,” said Djokovic. “I can see how much he cares about the game and how much he knows it. It was very interesting to hear his perspective on tennis before and now, how he analyses my game and what he sees with things to improve moving forward. I'm just looking forward to spending as much quality time with Andre as I can.”

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/djokovic-eastbourne-2017-preview

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