Novak Djokovic explains his pre-serve routine, admitting: ‘Sometimes it annoys me’

Novak Djokovic has explained he allows the moment to dictate his pre-serve routine rather than keeping it consistent no matter what.

Rafael Nadal is infamous within tennis for his unfailing dedication to a rigid routine before starting his serving motion.

He has always maintained that the repetition helps him to relax and that subsequently allows him to find greater consistency.

World number one Djokovic, on the other hand, varies the amount of times he bounces a ball before a serve.

Quizzed on his serve routine by Eurosport expert Mats Wilander, Djokovic said: “I don’t decide how many times I’m going to bounce the ball.

“I know it’s annoying for a lot of people and sometimes it’s annoying for me – I wish I could bounce it less and just get into the rhythm but sometimes, especially if it’s a tough moment and I’m a little bit tight and under pressure, I might bounce it a bit more.

“I just kind of wait until the right time to toss the ball and to have the right tempo in the movement from the very first step, the swing.

“I don’t know what else to tell you, there is no particular number.”

However, despite him now being very flexible in his pre-serve routine, it wasn’t always the case with him admitting he used to be a slave to rigidity that would even rival Rafael Nadal.

“Ten-plus years ago on the deuce side I would always end my bounces with an even number and advantage uneven,” he explained.

“It is not the case any more – I have a little bit of an issue!”

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