Fit-again Novak Djokovic certain he’s headed back to the top

Novak Djokovic gives thumbs up

Novak Djokovic insists he is close to rediscovering his best despite being dumped out of the Monte Carlo Masters.

The Serbian, who is working his way back from an elbow injury, lost an epic clash with Dominic Thiem in the round of 16 on Thursday, but he insists there were many positives to take from his performances in the tournament.

“Ideally I’d want to be playing the way I played for so many years,” the former world No 1, now ranked 13, said after losing 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 6-3 to Thiem.

“But obviously patience is required, trust in the process, believing in myself, in my game, people around me.

“I really believe that if I continue doing what I’m doing so far, believing in myself, I know eventually I’m going to get there (to the top of the game). I’m going to get there.”

“I’m feeling like it’s been getting better every day.

“I’ve had three matches here. I didn’t expect anything. I played without pain in the elbow, which is important. I have my coach Marian (Vajda) back in the box. So lot of good things.

“It was a lot of positives in this tournament. Three matches played.”

The 12-time Grand Slam champion, however, admits that his path back to fitness is not an easy one after playing with pain for so long.

“With the elbow, it’s been quite a story over the last two and a half years,” he added.

“Whether my elbow can be hurt if I play too long consecutively, I don’t know.

“I’ve done, with people around me, everything in our power to get my elbow in the best possible shape. I’m really happy with the way things are working out right now with the elbow. That’s all I can say.”