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Djokovic warms up for Aus Open against car
Guy Hand
17:23 AEST Fri Jan 11 2013

Novak Djokovic has proved he can serve and hit a forehand faster than a souped-up sports car.

So best of luck, first-round opponent Paul-Henri Mathieu, and anyone else standing in the path of the world No.1 as he attempts to win a third successive Australian Open.

Pitting Djokovic's best shots against an Audi R8 racing car at Melbourne's Sandown Raceway on Friday might have been a stunt to promote his racquet sponsor Head.

But his whoops of delight, a smile which never left his face and the demeanour of a stand-up comedian throughout showed how ultra-relaxed the Serbian is ahead of a title defence in which he wears a target on his back for 127 other players.

Djokovic believes he has learned to deal with the expectations that come with his lofty position, and is doing so better than any time in his career.

"Pressure is part of what we do. It's a privilege also, because you're doing something that is worthy, but it is also a challenge," Djokovic said.

"I manage to deal with it, managed to understand it better by playing many years at the top level of tennis.

"It's not something you are born with. You learn how to deal with the expectations of pressure as you play more tournaments, play more tennis, and the more time you spend as a professional athlete.

"There are expectations for someone who is in my position, but I am looking forward to it."


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