Djokovic: Titles no longer the priority

By Harry West 30 September 2016
Djokovic: Titles no longer the priority

Novak Djokovic says winning titles is no longer the primary concern as he looks to alleviate some of the pressure on himself.

The Serbian has dominated the ATP Tour over the past couple of years, winning five of the major tournaments across 2015 and 2016.

Comfortably clear of the chasing pack as the world's number one, Djokovic has firmly established himself as one of the all-time greats, with his triumph at the French Open earlier this year completing the career Grand Slam.

A shock third-round exit at Wimbledon was followed by a final defeat to Stan Wawrinka at the US Open earlier this month, and Djokovic was forced to pull out of the upcoming China Open with an elbow injury.

Despite being at the top of the men's game for so long, Djokovic is adopting a fresh attitude when it comes to competition.

"I don't want to think about winning titles and being the number one any more in order to avoid putting pressure on myself," he told reporters.

"I put too much pressure on myself after winning this year's Roland Garros and I didn't like it.

"I always enjoyed tennis and relished the game away from tournaments too but in the last few months, all the talk about making history has brought too much pressure.

"It doesn't mean I no longer want to contribute to the sport but I also don't want to keep on playing just for the sake of winning titles.

"If the wins and titles come I will embrace them with both arms. I am on an active vacation now and the Shanghai Masters [in October] is the next tournament.

"It's a micro injury I am dealing with but its nature is such that it could develop into a long-term issue. I am close to being fully fit but the injury is still affecting my serve."

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Harry West