Djokovic buoyant ahead of Wawrinka showdown


Novak Djokovic insists he has no concerns over his physical state as he prepares to face Stan Wawrinka in the men's singles final at the US Open.

The fitness of world number one Djokovic had been a major talking point ahead of the year's last grand slam, with the Serbian having looked some way short of his best as he made early exits from Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics.

Yet after benefiting from a walkover and two retirements from opponents at Flushing Meadows, defending champion Djokovic overcame Gael Monfils in the semi-finals on Friday and now has the opportunity to claim his third slam of 2016.

Djokovic received treatment on both of his shoulders against Monfils. However, when asked about his recent troubles, he replied: "Thankfully it's behind me, so I don't have any concerns. I have lots of excitement for the finals."

He added: "Obviously, I always wish to get to this match, the final match, whenever I come to a grand slam. I have those kind of ambitions.

"But, specifically, before this grand slam there were things that were happening, with my health and physical state, that were making me a little bit sceptical about how the thing is going to go during the tournament.

"I just wished for myself to be able to play on the level that I can. I hoped and I believed that as I progressed in the tournament that things would get better, which they did.

"I was, of course, blessed to have more days off with no match so I could focus on the recovery and work on things in my game and take things easily and to get to this phase. I'm very, very pleased to have achieved this result."

Djokovic beat Andy Murray in the finals of this year's Australian and French Opens, but will now come up against the man who beat him to the title at Roland Garros in 2015.

Wawrinka also got the better of Djokovic en route to his other grand slam crown, at Melbourne Park in 2014, so the Swiss will not lack confidence on Sunday as he attempts to conquer "the biggest challenge".

"The secret is simple: I have to play my best tennis, my best game," said third seed Wawrinka.

"He's the number one player, amazing fighter, amazing player, but I have enough confidence in myself that when I play my best level I can beat him.

"Hopefully I can bring that on Sunday. But it's the biggest challenge. When you play Novak, the number one player, in the final of a grand slam, it's the biggest challenge you can have."