Oct. 17, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after match point against Novak Djokovic of Serbia (not pictured) on day eight of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images
KARACHI (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic is not yet 100 percent fit and does not know when he will return to the courts but the Serb’s form during an impromptu training session on the streets of his hometown Belgrade and fans who greeted him while he was playing Wimbledon were a big confidence boost, the world number one has said.
Djokovic took part in a reception for National Day in Belgrade last week and took to the streets in a wheelchair for fans to show their support and show their love for the 32-year-old tennis great.
“It was a really special day and I appreciate the way the people reacted to me. It was quite funny,” Djokovic told Serbian newspaper Blic on the sidelines of the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
“It was quite surprising to see people’s reaction to me, even the kids were really excited. It was a great feeling,” added Djokovic, who was hitting back against speculation that his Wimbledon title defense might be over after a fitness scare.
The former champion, who was diagnosed with a long-standing elbow injury in February, stunned the world by retiring midway through the second set of the fourth round against Tomas Berdych in a match he had won comfortably earlier in the tournament.
“I’m not 100 percent but I’m getting there. I’m trying to do as much as I can on the practice court to get back to my full potential,” Djokovic said.
“I hope I can be better in the next few weeks. I have time to regain the form I lost at Wimbledon. It’s not easy but it’s normal after one or two months without competition.”
Djokovic, a 14-times grand slam champion, also said he is trying to give more space to go to the net but has been advised not to by his coach Marian Vajda.
“I think I will change it more, to the ground where it is more comfortable. But as of now, Marian said he doesn’t like me going in because it is too risky. I will try it soon but I still don’t know how to do it,” he said.