Djokovic back for more after some family time

Australian Open

Novak Djokovic is a man on a mission – Andy Murray has replaced him at the helm of the ATP rankings and he hasn’t won the last three Masters of 2016. Hoping to make amends and win back his Number 1 rank, Djokovic has set his sights on a “big” 2017.

The first tournament of the year – the Qatar ExxonMobil Open could see a clash between the heavyweights. As defending champion, Djokovic is expected to retain his title.

“Of course I would like to congratulate Andy for reaching No. 1 and crowning his season again, because he has played some tremendous tennis, especially in the last three, four months,” said Djokovic. “He definitely deserves to be there.”

The much needed break has helped the Serbian relax and recuperate. Some family time was all that he needed before jumping back in for another grueling season.

“We had now five, six weeks of off-season,” the 29-year-old said. “Not entirely rest, because in the five, six weeks you have to put in the rest together with preparations. But it is as it is. Sometimes I’ve had even shorter off-seasons. But nevertheless, I did take some time off with family. I didn’t travel much. I wanted to stay home and stay in one place where I can recharge my batteries. I just feel that I went to my home base.”

“With the lifestyle of a tennis player and all the traveling, sometimes you lose coordinates. You are all over the place. So it’s great to actually be in one place for certain amount of weeks. That allows you to unpack your things and mentally just relax and stay put.”

“From that perspective you’re able to observe things much differently. This off-season allowed me to really look back at what I’ve been through in my entire career, but especially in the last 12, 15 months, and to think about the next step and how I want to keep going.”

The Qatar ExxonMobil Open will start from January 2, with Djokovic facing World No. 46 Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round.

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