Novak Djokovic played at Wimbledon for the first time in 2005, just after turning 18, reaching the third round and proving his status as one of the youngest to beat in the future. Making rock-solid progress through the ATP list that year, the Serb couldn’t follow the same pace in the opening months of 2006, earning mediocre seven wins in the ATP tournaments ahead of Roland Garros where he found his best tennis again to make the first quarter-final at Majors, having to retire against Rafael Nadal after losing the opening two sets.
Traveling to Wimbledon with his new coach Marian Vajda, Novak ousted Paul Goldstein, Tommy Robredo and Mikhail Youzhny after dropping only one set in total, setting the fourth-round meeting with a former Wimbledon semi-finalist Mario Ancic.
Novak lost the opening set against Youzhny, bouncing back in style to control the pace from the second set and race towards the finish line. After the match, Novak praised his next opponent Mario Ancic, saying he knows him well as they trained a lot together.
Also, the youngster revealed he would love to become world no. 1 in the future, feeling confident in his game and abilities to challenge the rivals from the top. “I hope both Andy Murray and I could get into the top-10 soon.
I don’t see him as a rival and I would be happy for him once he achieves that. My goal is to become world no. 1 one day. My next opponent is Mario Ancic and I played him once before, at the US Open last year. Mario is very talented, getting into the top-10 where everyone expected him to be; he has all the elements in his game, producing them pretty well.
He is very dangerous on this surface, already playing in the semi-final at Wimbledon and feeling comfortable; it should be a tough match. I should have a small advantage in the fact he is the favorite and that I had already defeated him before. We often practiced together and it is a wide-open clash.”