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Djokovic targets mental health, balance as he defends No. 1 spot

(Xinhua)    09:58, February 19, 2019

MONACO, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Fresh from winning his fourth Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award on Monday, Serbian tennis great Novak Djokovic set a higher goal of staying mentally healthy and balanced over his chase for Grand Slams and world No. 1 position in the future.

After coming back from an elbow surgery, Djokovic triumphed at the Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018. He went on to claim the Australian Open title this year, and currently sit No. 1 at the ATP ranking.

Djokovic admitted that the last 12 months have been quite "transformational."

"I've been 12 months ago on the surgery table. I hope that was the last surgery that I've ever had. But at the same time, I was really pleased with the way surgery went, because it allowed me to be back on court beyond five weeks after surgery," he said.

Djokovic said that he became impatient at first. "In my mind, I kind of knew what I'm capable of and the quality of my technic side."

"For several months, the experience was really challenging and [there were] difficult moments mentally on the court, where I was questioning everthing and really doubtful as well," Djokovic pointed out.

Djokovic got much help from family and people around him, who encouraged him to trust the process, and to become more postive and patient.

"I believe things will come toegether when the time arises. There are many, many life lessons that I've learnt along the way in the last 12 months. To be able to be recognized for that tonight was previleged and honored," the Serbian commented.

"My mindset was very helpful when I needed the strength. I had to find it inside rather than outside," Djokovic said.

"A couple of years ago, I was looking for things outside and blaming people around me or myself, not really understanding that you just have to learn, embrace and accept it," he added.

"We are forced to make goals and objectives," said Djokovic. "Probably the biggest lesson that I've learnt in the last year is that the destination is not more important than the journey, it's the other way around. I should focus my attention more on experiecning everything now rather than later."

"My professional tennis goals reamain pretty much the same as what I had for most of my career, aiming to win as many Grand Slams as possible and fight for the No. 1 of the world. Those are ultimate goals of a tennis player.

"But at the same time, my bigger goal is probably to stay mentally healthy and balanced. In case I'm in an optimal and functional state of my body, I will have a better chance of achieving goals," Djokovic said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Sheng Chuyi, Bianji)

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