MONTE CARLO – Novak Djokovic: “The last few months have been difficult mentally and emotionally”

He is back ! With only three small matches in three months to launch this year 2022, Novak Djokovic has been chomping at the bit in recent months. But this week, the Serb will rediscover the pleasure of competition, during the Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo. With the status of world number 1 and the desire to forget his setbacks at the Australian Open. So he does not sulk his pleasure. “I missed the competition“, acknowledged the man who will begin his 365th (record) week on Monday at the top of the world hierarchy.I didn’t expect to be number 1 again playing so little. I guess I got a little lucky. But I take! I will try to maintain this rank as long as possible.”

During his forced diet away from the courts, “Djoko”, deprived of the Indian Wells-Miami streak on hard last month because he was not vaccinated, saw Rafael Nadal win his 21st Grand Slam in Melbourne to set a new record, Daniil Medvedev steal his place as world number 1 for a few days and some young people get noticed like Carlos Alcaraz. Frustrating? Surely. But what, above all, to give him mouth water when it comes time to resume. “I am still motivated by the idea of ​​evolving on the circuit to compete with young players and challenge the best in the world to win the biggest titles.“, warned the Serb. “I must have done this to something I had never experienced.

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I’ll try to use this as fuel

The time when he was aiming for the calendar Grand Slam by dominating the tennis world seems far away, however. But that was last year. But since then water has flowed under the bridges. And Djokovic went through a delicate period. As atypical as it is complicated to manage. “The past few months have been difficult mentally and emotionally“, has also recognized the Serbian champion. “I had to do this to something that I never experienced.”

Unsurprisingly for anyone who has followed his fantastic career a little, Djokovic obviously does not intend to let himself be beaten. “On a daily basis, I try to move forward, to transform this ‘energy’ into something positive. I take all the lessons from all the experiences… And I don’t think it will leave insurmountable traces. I’ll try to use this as fuel“, hopes the native of Belgrade in remarks taken up by The Team.

In the meantime, the 34-year-old champion is heading back into the unknown. Out of rhythm. And landmarks. “I will surely not be at my best for this start this week. I will test the engine and build my game. It will take a few matches“, announces the one who will challenge Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and clarified that he intends to play the full season on gravel. In this context, really relaunching his season in Monte-Carlo is however ideal.This is the best place imaginable to resume competition for me“, explains Djokovic, who has lived on the Rock for ten years and will be able to count on the support of his family. And after these last months, it is anything but a detail.

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