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Djokovic attacks 'spoiled' Brits


Inside Sport: Novak Djokovic

World number three Novak Djokovic has accused young British tennis players of lacking the hunger needed to succeed.

The 20-year-old Serbian, who won the Australian Open in January, told BBC's Inside Sport programme: "In the UK a lot of kids are a little bit spoiled.

"If you have perfect conditions and everything you want, you don't know the real meaning of tennis and you don't work as hard as you are supposed to.

"You do not have hunger for success because everything is on a plate."

Djokovic, who was rumoured to have considered taking British nationality himself in 2006, feels it would be relatively easy to increase the number of British players to come through the ranks.

At the moment Andy Murray, aged 20 and ranked 20th, is the only British male in the world's top 200, with Jamie Baker next highest at 241st.

He has enough quality, enough talent, and enough potential to be a top-five player, and everybody expects him to do that

Novak Djokovic on Andy Murray

Djokovic said: "I think you have enough tennis history and enough people who have a big knowledge about tennis who will recognise the problem, and you still have a lot of potential and everything you need.

"You just have to find the right moment and to change the mentality of the coaches and the kids."

Djokovic has enjoyed an impressive start to 2008, including winning the Australian Open title in Melbourne in January.

He thrashed Murray 6-0 6-4 at the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday before pulling out during his semi-final against Roger Federer on Saturday.

Djokovic, however, insists Murray - a close friend and rival of his from their junior days - can never be described as spoiled.

And he also expects the Scot, who was developed outside of the British system, to join him in the top five sooner, rather than later.

"He has enough quality, enough talent, and enough potential to be a top-five player, and everybody expects him to do that," Djokovic explained.

"But obviously he has so much pressure on him because Great Britain needs a champion, badly, and a Wimbledon champion especially, so they expect him to do that in the next couple of years, and obviously that creates some pressure.

"But, throughout his entire career, he's been mentally a very strong player, so I can expect that he's going to come fast to the top five."

Inside Sport is on BBC One on Monday night at 2305 BST

see also
GB junior sent home in disgrace
20 Jan 08 |  Tennis
LTA suspends top junior players
24 Sep 07 |  Tennis
Murray warns British youngsters
25 Sep 07 |  Tennis
Youngsters lack desire - Henman
17 Sep 07 |  Tennis

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