World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is drawn against Jerzy Janowicz of Poland at the US Open, with the top seed looking to make a comeback of sorts after a temporary lull in his season. Djokovic had an early exit at Wimbledon, where he was the defending champion.
Following this, the Serb crashed out of the men’s singles at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, ousted by Juan Martin del Potro, also losing in the men’s doubles soon after.
Now, for the first time in months, the defending US Open champion has opened up about his issues. It had long been speculated, following Djokovic’s Wimbledon loss to big-serving American Sam Querrey, that he had been suffering from a wrist injury that had seriously derailed his gameplay. Clarifying these issues ahead of his opening match, the Serb said it was “personal issues, not entirely physical” that had had an impact on his results.
Expounding on his injuries, the 29-year-old acknowledged his “...wrist is not an ideal state for the past few weeks.”
“But I'm doing everything in my power with the medical team to make sure that I'm as close to 100 per cent as possible during the course of this tournament, at least for the beginning of it.”
He also revealed that issues in his private life had taken a serious toll on his game. “I am in a position, like everybody else, like all of you, we all have private issues and things that are more challenges than issues," he told reporters assembled at a press conference ahead of the start of the tournament.
Asked to explain, the Serb said it was “nothing related to the wrist injury.”
However, Djokovic and wife Jelena have now become the subject of tabloid fodder and speculation as a number of sources have speculated on the pair’s marriage.
Born Jelena Ristic, Djokovic’s wife was also his high school sweetheart. The pair, who have been together for over a decade, share a two-year-old son, Stefan, named for the legendary tennis player Stefan Edberg.
After his shock ouster from Wimbledon, Djokovic had vowed to “spend more time with my family.”
The news comes at a trying time for the Serbian ace, who this year completed his career Grand Slam, winning his maiden French Open title – the only Slam missing from his trophy cabinet.
Can he come back from the trying news and flagging form to defend his title?