Djokovic puts unbeaten run on line in Madrid

Novak Djokovic is yet to taste defeat in 2011, but he knows his

winning streak will likely come to an end soon.

Unbeaten in 29 matches since December, Djokovic is at the Madrid

Open preparing to bid for a sixth title of the season. The

23-year-old Serb faces South African Kevin Anderson in the second

round on Wednesday.

Djokovic said it was unrealistic to expect his winning run to

continue through the claycourt season, which culminates with the

French Open beginning May 22.

”I don’t believe I can win every match on clay,” Djokovic said

Tuesday. ”But I’ll take it one match at a time and we’ll see how

far it can go.”

Victory at his hometown tournament in Belgrade on Sunday took

Djokovic’s unbeaten start to the season to a record 27 matches.

If the Serb gets to the final in Madrid, Rafael Nadal, who is

unbeaten on clay since 2009, could be waiting. Djokovic got the

better of the top-ranked Spaniard in the Miami and Indian Wells

finals earlier this year, but he has never beaten Nadal on

clay.

One of those losses came in the 2009 semifinal in Madrid when

Djokovic let three match points slip in a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (9)

defeat.

”It took me a while for me to recover when I last played Rafa

in Madrid,” Djokovic said. ”Still, I know I can play well here

and I can beat the top players here.”

With his perfect start, Djokovic has been the outstanding player

of the season so far and replaced Roger Federer as the

second-ranked player behind Nadal. He said there was ”no secret”

to his stellar form.

”Anything is possible if you believe you can achieve it and you

are fit physically, motivated and dedicated to the sport,”

Djokovic said. ”I’ve been working very hard on my game, my mental

approach over the past few years and now it’s paying off.”

However, he said his incredible winning run won’t be on his mind

when he faces Anderson on Wednesday.

”I’m not thinking about my streak and how long I can go on for,

I’m taking one match at a time.”