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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2007, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Djokovic targets top two
By Piers Newbery
BBc Sport at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic has already won three titles this season
There is at least one man at this year's French Open who does not believe that a Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer final is a foregone conclusion.

Novak Djokovic has been the rising star of men's tennis over the last 12 months having moved from a world ranking of 63 at Roland Garros last year to a high of five this year.

And the 20-year-old Serb scored his first win over one of the world's top two in March when he beat Nadal to win his debut Masters Series title in Miami.

He still has three losses to the Spaniard and four to Federer but his confidence remains high.

"They are the two best players in the world but I think that myself and a couple of other players are in this small group behind them which can make a surprise and do something about it," Djokovic told BBC Sport.

"Talking for myself, I go out on the court and I try to win whoever I play against."

The interest in the evolving rivalry of the world's leading two players has begun to cast a shadow over the rest of the men, but Djokovic says the other players are realistic about their place behind the thrilling duel at the top of the game.

"Everybody's talking about the rivalry between Federer and Nadal and we are all aware of that," said Djokovic.

Federer's win in the final of Hamburg against Nadal gave us more belief

Novak Djokovic

"Everybody expects them to play the finals this year. It's understandable because they win 90% of the tournaments they play in."

They do not win every tournament they enter, however, as Djokovic proved in Miami and almost at the preceding Indian Wells Masters where he reached the final.

In any era, his storming of the top 10 would have been impressive and he already has five titles to his name.

"Honestly, I am a bit surprised because I didn't expect such success so fast," he said.

"I had my goal to reach the top 10 but I'm already the fifth player in the world and it's a great feeling. It gives me a lot of confidence and motivation, especially my win in Miami.

"That gave me confidence that I can win against the best players in the world, particularly Nadal. Now I'm confident on every surface. My goal for this year is to reach Shanghai (for the end-of-season Masters Cup) and I think I have a pretty good chance."

Djokovic says he feels at home on every surface and clay certainly holds no fears as he showed on reaching the last eight at last year's French Open.

This time around he believes that a select few can derail what seems to be the only show in town at the moment - Federer v Nadal.

"We'll go match by match, it's a long tournament and we'll see what happens," he said. "We think we can surprise them and Federer's win in the final of Hamburg against Nadal gave us more belief.

"We believe that we can win against those guys in the Grand Slams and the major tournaments."

Men's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis
Women's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis


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