Following a stunning loss to Marco Cecchinato at the French Open, Novak Djokovic wasn’t sure he’d even play the grass season. But after clearing his mind, he’s back!
The Serb rolled John Millman yesterday in his Queen’s opener, then opened up on what brought him back t tennis.
“It was hiking with my wife with no kids for five days, if you really want to know,” Djokovic said. “It was a wonderful time after two years with not having a break only with her without kids, so we managed to do that.
“We were very far away from any tennis court, in nature, and it was the best way to clear the mind and just also have a possibility to slow down. Because we live in a society where everything is so rapid and we are overstimulated with everything, you know, sometimes you need to just slow down and have time for yourself to think about things, to understand your emotions and what you’re going through.
“So that’s what we have done. I managed to just kind of recalibrate and get back on the court.”
Djokovic also said he’s finally feeling comfortable with his serve and his racquet.
“The model of the racquet is the same,” Djokovic said. “I have modified certain dimensions of the racquet and things that I felt with my team that is the right thing to do, considering the problems that I had with the elbow.
“This very problem with an injury of the elbow has forced me to also compensate a little bit my technique for the serve, the movement and everything. So I went from quite a familiar style of serving up to Wimbledon last year. Then I took a break obviously, and then I started reinventing the serve and game and racquet. And then I kind of had a completely new motion in Australia and then another one in Miami.
“So I’m finally kind of feeling comfortable with where the serve is at, but it takes a little bit of time to work on it. It’s a very, very important shot, maybe the most important shot in our sport, especially on the quickest surface in our sport, which is grass.”
Djokovic is in doubles later today in Queen’s with Stan Wawrinka. Then tomorrow he takes on Grigor Dimitrov.
“So a match against Dimitrov obviously is a very good challenge for both of us, especially me at this time, you know, with not too many matches under my belt in general this year or last 12 months,” he said.
“So it’s quite important. He’s one of the best players in the world and loves playing on grass. I think it’s his preferred surface. He has won here, so yeah, I mean, after today’s performance, convincing performance, I feel confident to step out on the court and go for a win.”
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