Novak Djokovic: I never thought it was impossible to return to the top
Novak Djokovic has described the second half of the 2018 season as the “perfect five months of the year” following his remarkable comeback.
After missing the backend of the 2017 campaign due to injury, the Serb also started this season under an injury cloud and was forced to undergo elbow surgery after the Australian Open.
He initially struggled for form after he returned, but things finally fell into place during the grass-court season and he ended up winning his 13th Grand Slam at Wimbledon.
Thirteen became 14 as he also won the US Open, added a couple of Masters titles to his collection and reclaimed top spot in the world rankings.
He capped it all off by securing the year-end No 1 ranking for the first time since 2015 when Rafael Nadal withdrew from the ATP Finals.
“Being No 1 is probably the ultimate challenge in our sport and the pinnacle of the season,” Djokovic said.
He continued: “I’m very proud of that achievement and I understand that it’s extra special this year because of the journey I’ve been through in the last 15 months, especially and particularly in the last eight to 10 months.
“After February’s elbow surgery it looked quite improbable that I would be in this position as the year-end No 1 not just because of the rankings – I was 22 (in May) – but just because of how I felt on the court, how I was playing.
“But there was always part of me that believed I could make it back and I never thought it was impossible. I just thought at the time it might take more time than I wished it to be.
He added: “It turned to out to be a perfect five months of the year, with two Grand Slam titles.
“Of course, unfortunately Nadal had to withdraw from all of his tournaments after the US Open so he was not in that race but at the same time I thought it was a great five months that is crowned with this achievement.”
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