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Djokovic edges closer to rankings summit

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Originally published on: 09/05/11 09:29

Novak Djokovic will enter this week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome with a chance – however slight – of achieving his dream of attaining the world No.1 ranking.

The Serb stunned Rafael Nadal in straight sets on the Madrid clay on Sunday – a result that means he could knock the Spaniard off his perch at the top of the ATP ladder if he wins his seventh straight title of the year and Nadal falls before the semi-finals in the Italian capital.

But 23-year-old Djokovic insists he will continue to take each match as it comes, rather than get bogged down with thoughts of topping the rankings.

“If I continue to win, I will get closer to it, but I am trying not to think about it as I have only just started my clay court season,” said Djokovic, who picked up his home title in Belgrade for a second time the week previously.

“It’s a perfect start to win two events on clay. But I am concentrating on the tournaments ahead. I know that if I want to become number one, I will have to play well constantly week after week.

“That’s what Rafa and the other players will be doing.”

Djokovic has now complied a winning streak of 32 matches this season and – after surpassing Ivan Lendl – the run is the best start to a season since John McEnroe racked up 42 straight wins in 1984.

“I don’t think about the record,” admitted Djokovic after his stunning defeat of the world No.1 in Madrid’s Magic Box venue. “I just concentrate on what I am doing. I am a more mature player, a more mature person.

“I know that my record is incredible, but I try not to think about how long it will go on for or when I might lose.”

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