Novak Djokovic promises to use ‘a challenging few months’ as ‘fuel’ if the world No. 1 returns to Monte-Carlo

Novak Djokovic has laid bare his mentality ahead of his return to tennis – the Serb will play his first tournament since the Dubai Tennis Championships in February

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Djokovic admits attending an interview with a journalist while Covid was positive

Novak Djokovic has vowed to use the past few months as motivation when he returns to the pitch this week. The world number one will start his campaign at Monte Carlo championhis first tournament since the Dubai Championships in February.

It’s been a tumultuous year for the Serb, who has only played in one tournament this year due to being unvaccinated. Despite the setbacks, the 34-year-old is no stranger to taking on a challenge and is keen to use his past experience to propel his performances in the days to come.

“I try to be optimistic in life and consider myself a very optimistic, positive person,” Djokovic told reporters. “I take lessons in every experience, especially something as big as what happened in January. Once I start playing games… I obviously have to deal with whatever was probably dormant inside me and maybe waiting to come out.

“I don’t feel like it left big scars that I can’t train or compete or live my life… far from it. But it’s been a challenging couple of months and something I’ve never experienced before. So I’m going to try to use that as fuel for what’s to come.”

Djokovic was denied a chance to play the Australian Open last January and endured the horror of being held in a detention center before being deported. He also failed to compete in tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami known as the Sunshine Double where the tennis legend has enjoyed much success over the years.

The athlete has been heavily criticized for his stance on the vaccine and his beliefs preventing him from playing the sport he loves certainly took its toll. Despite being the overwhelming favorite to take the title in Dubai, Djokovic was knocked out in straight sets by Jiri Vessely in the quarterfinals.

Novak Djokovic has said he will use the last few challenging months as fuel when he plays this week’s Monte Carlo Masters

Two months later and with the clay court season now ahead of us, Djokovic will be there throughout the swing, building his form for his title defense at Roland Garros in May. “The last four, five months have been really challenging for me mentally and emotionally but here I am. I’m trying to put all of that behind me and move on,” he added.

“My memory of my win at Roland Garros last year is still fresh, so I’m trying to use it as inspiration to start the clay court season in the best possible way. I intend to play the entire clay court season on my schedule of previous years.

“I understand I probably won’t be at my best at the start of this week, so I’m sort of testing my engine and building my game.” The 2013 and 2015 Monte Carlo champion will play his first match of the week against the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina tomorrow.

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