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Novak Djokovic plans early Olympic trip

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Spain’s Rafael Nadal during the Qatar Open 2016 final match in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexandra Panagiotidou)


How important are the Rio Olympics to Novak Djokovic?

“I am going to take a week in preparation,” Djokovic said, according to the Telegraph. “That means going there earlier, and becoming used to those conditions so that I can get the best out of myself.”

The top-ranked Serb pointed to challenging heat and humidity on the Rio hard courts, which would tend to suit him.

Djokovic is a five-time Australian Open winner and captured last year’s U.S. Open, the two hard-court Grand Slams, both played in the summer.

His résumé lacks a French Open title and an Olympic gold medal. Djokovic lost three of the last four French Open finals and the last two Olympic semifinals, coming back for bronze in 2008.

The last Serbian man to earn an individual Olympic title was in 1988, for Yugoslavia.

MORE TENNIS: Will Flavia Pennetta return for Rio?

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