Djokovic primed for defence
Novak Djokovic has sent an ominous warning to his rivals ahead of his bid to become the first man to win three straight Australian Open titles.
The world number one thrashed David Ferrer 6-0 6-3 in the semi-finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Friday and said he was in "amazing" form ahead of the first grand slam of the season.
With one eye on his title defence, Djokovic still has another exhibition match against Nicolas Almagro in the final in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, but described his lead-up match against Ferrer as the "perfect performance".
"Last year I played an amazing few matches and this year I am playing amazing as well," Djokovic said.
"It felt great, after a few weeks of preparation and hard work, more focusing on fitness and just gradually increasing the hours on the tennis court.
"It was a perfect performance against one of the best players in the world, especially in 2012 where he had his best year.
"It was a great performance and a great confidence boost for me. It's something I will look at as a positive indication of my form in this tournament."
Having outlasted Rafael Nadal to take his third Australian Open crown and second consecutive in one of the most epic five-set finals of all time, Djokovic welcomed the weight of expectation.
"No, I'm not superstitious. I will be very motivated to hear that nobody has done this (three Australian Open titles in a row), so I will try to make history there," he said.
"I will be very flattered to be the first person to do that.
"The Australian Open is my most successful grand slam and hopefully I can get a shot at the title next year."