Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Djokovic changes focus ... Says ranking, titles no longer his priorities

Published:Saturday | October 1, 2016 | 10:00 AM
Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a backhand return to Quentin Halys of France during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, earlier this year.

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP):

Novak Djokovic says Grand Slam trophies and the No. 1 ranking are no longer his priorities.

The top-ranked Serb, who has won 12 major titles, said, after a light training session in Belgrade yesterday, that he felt emotionally drained after winning the French Open in June for his first Grand Slam on clay. He became only the third man to win all four major tournaments in a row, something last done almost 50 years ago.

"I psychologically felt huge pressure, and now I'm no longer thinking about the number of titles. If they come, super! I will accept them," Djokovic said. "After all, tennis is not the only thing in the world."

He had a poor midseason, losing early at Wimbledon and the Olympics, and was undone in the US Open final. He has reportedly had physical and personal issues, which reflected on his recent results.

Djokovic said he will "sit and talk" with his coach, Boris Becker, about their future cooperation. The German has helped Djokovic win seven Grand Slam titles.

"I'm happy with the cooperation ... . He helped me a lot," Djokovic said.

He withdrew from the China Open next week because of an elbow injury. He said he expects to play at the Shanghai Masters from October 10.

Djokovic said the "micro injury" hampered his serve during the US Open, where he was stopped in the final by Stanislas Wawrinka.