Former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic has backed Novak Djokovic’s decision to end his season early following a elbow injury.
Earlier this week, Djokovic confirmed that he will not play any more matches on the tour this year during a press conference in Belgrade. At the Wimbledon championships he pulled out of the quarter-finals due to an elbow injury and was advised by medical experts to rest for a 6-12 week period.
The temporary hiatus comes after what has been a tough year for the Serbian. He has endured a series of lacklustre results on the tour and changed his coaching team. 29-year-old Ivanovic, who retired from tennis last year, admits that it has been tough watching her compatriot on the tour.
“It’s difficult for me to see because I do know him well. We kind of grew up together and I can relate a little bit to what he is going through because it’s not easy.” Ivanovic told Sports Illustrated’s Beyond The Baseline.
“He’s been on top of the game for so long and that is amazing. Everything he has achieved over the past years have been just unbelievable.” She later added.
Ivanovic has expressed empathy towards Djokovic and his recent struggles. Following his French Open triumph in 2016, the world No….. admitted that he has struggled for motivation at times. Although he has won three titles since Roland Garros, including two this year in Doha and Eastbourne.
“Winning the French Open last year and completing that dream that he had. You get kind of deflated a little bit and you do get a little tired.” Ivanovic explained.
“You have to step back a bit and reassess your goals. You realise how much hard work goes into it and you have to match that day after day, year after year, and he has been doing that for so long.”
The words spoken by Ivanovic is based on her own experience. In 2008 she won her first and only grand slam title at the French Open. Shortly after she was hampered by a thumb injury and failed to reach the final at seven consecutive tournaments. Towards the end of her career, she also struggled with both injury and consistency on the court.
“I wished I did that”
Reflecting on her life in tennis, the 29-year-old wished she took time away from the sport to recover. It is for this reason why she believes a break will be the best thing for Djokovic.
“I completely understand that he could be a little bit worn out and tired. I think his decision to take the year off is probably good for him,’ she stated.
“ It’s difficult because everybody wants to see him play. I just think it is a good time to relax and take some time off. I can relate to it, there were moments in my career where I wished I did that, rather than just pushing through.”
Asked if she had any second thoughts about leaving the sport, Ivanovic insisted that she has no regrets. She is currently living in Chicago with her fiancée Bastian Schweinsteiger, who plays for football team Chicago Fire.
Article and Image courtesy of http://www.ubitennis.net/blog/2017/07/30/ana-ivanovic-supports-djokovics-break-tennis-wishes/