Novak Djokovic’s lengthy absence from aggressive tennis at first of final yr after he was deported from Australia helped him “achieve some great results,” he mentioned in a press convention on Saturday forward of the 2023 Australian Open.
Djokovic performed simply two tournaments within the opening 4 months of 2022 as a result of his resolution to not be vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19, and ensuing failure to adjust to journey guidelines of some international locations internet hosting tournaments.
This enforced break day, nevertheless, allowed him to spend extra time coaching.
“As a professional tennis player on the highest level, don’t have much time to really have a longer training block,” Djokovic advised reporters. “We now have a really lengthy season … you’ve got just a few weeks right here and there.
“The fact that I wasn’t playing for several months at the beginning of last year allowed me to really get together with my team and work on my body, on my strokes, which has later helped me to achieve some great results.”
Later that yr, Djokovic received his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title, in addition to his sixth ATP Finals win, and he has begun 2023 in the same vein with victory on the Adelaide Worldwide.
Djokovic is aiming to win a tenth Australian Open title in Melbourne and, extra considerably, equal the boys’s file of grand slam titles – at the moment set by Rafael Nadal at 22 – offering the 35-year-old with added motivation.
“That’s why I keep on playing professional tennis, competition tennis, because I want to be the best, I want to win the biggest tournaments in the world,” he mentioned.
“You have four Slams that historically have been the biggest events in our sport. It’s also one of the biggest reasons why I was really looking forward to come back to Australia: because of my record here. I really love playing in Rod Laver Arena, particularly night sessions. I’ve had plenty of success that hopefully can continue this year.”
Though Djokovic damage his hamstring within the semifinals of the Adelaide Worldwide final week and is consequently “being a bit more cautious,” he says that it’s “hopefully not a major concern.”
“I’m in a very good shape,” he added. “I ended the yr in the very best manner, and continued that type in Adelaide. I like the best way I performed there. I beat some actually good gamers, particularly in the previous couple of matches of the event.
“I like my chances. I always like my chances.”
Djokovic will start his Australian Open marketing campaign in opposition to unseeded Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena on January 17.