Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic opens up about mental struggles this season: ‘I still have to deal with it’

World number one Novak Djokovic has opened up about his mental and emotional struggles following a turbulent start to the 2022 season.

Djokovic has had an extremely difficult season so far, with the Serbian only competing in three tournaments after he was forced to miss the ‘Sunshine Double’ events as well as the Australian Open due to his vaccination status.

Last month Djokovic also suffered a disappointing result at the Monte Carlo Masters as he crashed out in his opening match to eventual-finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as well as lose in the final to world number eight Andrey Rublev in his native city of Belgrade  – leaving the current world number one without any silverware so far in 2022.

Speaking ahead of his Madrid Masters opener this week, the 20-time Grand Slam champion discussed his struggles when trying to get back to his best and making his return to the ATP circuit.

“The challenge is definitely more on the mental and emotional side,” Djokovic said.

“Of course, I have never experienced anything similar to what I experienced early this season and I did not know how that’s going to affect me.

“It obviously still – you know, I still have to deal with it to some extent. It’s not as powerful that it was in the first two, three months of the year.

“I feel like the more I play, the more I’m in this environment, the more comfortable I feel.”

Novak Djokovic begins his campaign in the Spanish capital against either Gael Monlfis or wild card Carlos Gimeno Valero on Tuesday.

The Serbian, who last won the title in 2019, will be looking to win the title for a fourth time and his first since November 2021.

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