Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Djokovic hails family after Shanghai win

Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, who captured his fourth ATP Shanghai Masters title here, on Monday said that the last three or four months have been “phenomenal”, and his family has helped him to overcome adversity after the lacklustre start to the season.

“It was a perfect week; I don’t have anything negative to say about the game. I enjoyed a lot on and off the court,” said Djokovic.

At the age of 31, Djokovic, who has struggled to find his best form after an elbow surgery in February, fell to No. 22 in the ATP rankings in May.

“I changed my service motion; I had to adjust to that. It took me a long time to start feeling comfortable and confident on the court again,” Djokovic said.

Now back to winning form, Djokovic has not lost a match since Toronto in August and lifted four trophies at Wimbledon, Cincinnati, the US Open and now in Shanghai.

“I started to be myself again on the court [and] playing [my] best tennis from the grass court season. The last three or four months have been phenomenal in terms of the quality of tennis,” Djokovic said.

The father of two says he owed his recovery to the wholehearted support of his family.

“Family is the key to success and balance [in] life. Emotionally they helped me a lot when I had the surgery. It’s a blessing to be a father and have a lovely family,” he smiled.

After the successful tour in Shanghai, Djokovic surpassed Roger Federer to become World No. 2 on Monday and is getting very close to Rafael Nadal’s number one spot.

“It looks quite amazing. [I’ll] just keep going, it’s the biggest goal for me to become the World No.1 by the end of the year. Its going to be a great challenge to race with Rafa [Nadal],” Djokovic said.

Thinking back on his experiences in Shanghai, Djokovic told Xinhua that his highlight was winning the 2008 Masters Cup as a 21-year-old player.

“It was a big big tournament and big big win for me, which boosted me forward in my later career.” Ten years on, Djokovic has won more championships in Shanghai than any other tennis player and he is very grateful to his Chinese fans.

“I had lots of support as I always do here in Shanghai. They are loyal fans, they are supportive, they are full of passion, we connect more and more every year,” Djokovic added.

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