It has been a rough few weeks for Novak Djokovic.
The world No. 1 once again climbed to the summit of the rankings and usurped the top spot from Rafael Nadal with his Wimbledon title win over Roger Federer in a thrilling five-set battle, but then had that momentum snatched from him with poor showings in the US Open Series tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati.
While the Serbian star wouldn’t label his performances as “rusty,” he did mention that it was hard to adjust back into competition so soon after his wedding and extended break in July.
“Well, there’s only one ‘Rusty’ and that’s Lleyton Hewitt,” Djokovic laughingly told ATPWorldTour.com. “I was a bit slow to get into the competition mode. It was a very unique five or six weeks with the wedding and winning Wimbledon and getting back to No. 1 in the world. I couldn’t have asked for more.
“I was extremely fulfilled after I got married. I’m happy with where I am in my life. When I went back to play Toronto and Cincinnati I felt I was emotionally a bit flat. Probably all of these events and experiences got the best of me and I needed some time. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to play my best at the two big tournaments.”
Djokovic lost to eventual champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Toronto and to Tommy Robredo in Cincinnati, both in the third round. While he does not plan on underestimating any of his opponents, he is inspired to return to form next week in Flushing Meadows.It will be far from easy though, as he could potentially face a daunghting draw that includes John Isner, Andy Murray (or Tsonga) and then Wawrinka before a potential final against Federer.
“I don’t underestimate any tournament. I, of course, wanted to do well, but I couldn’t. I was aware of the fact that I need to recharge, regroup and get myself on the right path for the US Open. It’s the last Grand Slam of the season. I’ve been spending a lot of hours on the court and trying to get my game to where I want it to be.”