Novak Djokovic hopes taking a break from tennis would see him emulate the successes enjoyed by Swiss rival and colleague, Roger Federer, after announcing his season is over due to an injury.
Federer, who recently became only player to win eight titles at All England Club, it will be recalled, announced a break from tennis in July 2016 to return in January 2017, to rest a knee injury.
Since returning from his long break, the Swiss legend has experienced an incredible rebirth, which has seen him not only win two out of three of the Grand Slam tournaments already competed for, but has also won the Indian Wells, Halle-grass Court and Miami Masters titles.
So, Djokovic, who is set to miss next month’s US Open, announced on Wednesday that he won’t be taking part in any tennis events this year, and will be back in January 2018.
“My body has its limits, and I have to respect that and be grateful for all that I have achieved so far,” said Djokovic.
“All the doctors I’ve consulted, and all the specialists I have visited, in Serbia and all over the world, have agreed that this injury requires rest.
“A prolonged break from the sport is inevitable. I’ll do whatever it takes to recover. I will use the upcoming period to strengthen my body and also to improve certain tennis elements that I have not been able to work on over the past years, due to a demanding schedule.
“It is the most important for me to recover, to be able to play injury free for as long as possible, to compete in the sport that has given me so much, the sport I love.
“Of course I want to return to the winning form, to win again, to win the trophies. But now it is not the time to talk about it. At this point, I’m focusing on recovery.
“My elbow is hurt due to excessive playing, and it troubles me constantly when serving, and now when playing forehand as well. Unfortunately, such injuries are often encountered in a professional sport, and I am very proud of the fact that I have been free from serious injuries during all these years.
“I think I haven’t missed a single major event for more than 10 years, I’ve been reaching the final stages of the tournaments and playing at the highest level. The remarkable series has come to an end.
Djokovic also confirmed he’d continue working with Andre Agassi as his coach.
“We’ve been speaking regularly,” he added. “Andre was with me in Toronto and he helped me find doctors, specialists in treating elbow injuries.
“During this short period of time, we’ve been getting to know each other and building trust and understanding. He supports my decision to take a break, and remains my head coach.
“He is going to help me get back into shape and bounce back strong after the recovery period,” Djokovic concluded
The world no.4 made the announcement on a press conference in Belgrade on Wednesday.