Novak Djokovic admits to mental struggles after poor start to 2022 season

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has admitted he is struggling mentally to find his best form after a subpar start to the 2022 season.

The Serbian has missed a number of tournaments so far this year, including the Australian Open and Masters events in Miami and Indian Wells, due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Back in action for the clay court season, Djokovic was beaten at the Monte Carlo Masters by Alejandro Davidovich before suffering a defeat in the final of the Serbian Open to Andrey Rublev.

Speaking ahead of his opener at the Madrid Open, the 20-time Grand Slam champion opened up about his struggles trying to get back to his best.

"The challenge is definitely more on the mental and emotional side," he revealed. "Of course, I have never experienced anything similar to what I experienced early this season and I did not know how that's going to affect me.

"It obviously still - you know, I still have to deal with it to some extent. It's not as powerful that it was in the first two, three months of the year. I feel like the more I play, the more I'm in this environment, the more comfortable I feel."

Djokovic begins his campaign in the Spanish capital against Frenchman Gael Monfils on Tuesday. The Serbian is looking to win the title for a fourth time with his most recent triumph coming in 2019. The 34-year old also plans to compete at the Rome Masters ahead of the French Open at the end of the month where he hopes to defend his title won in 2021.

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