Djokovic: I've felt unmotivated in the past 12 months

After battling an elbow injury, Novak Djokovic accepted his motivation levels had been an issue.

Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic   -  Getty Images

Novak Djokovic admitted he had struggled to get motivated in the past year after struggling with injuries.

Djokovic has slipped to 22nd in the rankings after a tough 12 months, an elbow injury bringing an end to his 2017 following Wimbledon, while it has also impacted his start to this year.

The Serbian is yet to hit top form in 2018 – holding an 11-7 win-loss record – while the last of his 12 grand slams was won at the French Open two years ago.

Djokovic, 31, admitted motivation had been an issue for him as he battled the elbow injury.

"In recent times, it was sometimes difficult to have a global vision," he told L'Equipe.

"There have been days in the past 12 months when I felt unmotivated because of the injury and challenges that awaited me. But that's life.

"There are days when you have to clench your teeth and gather all your strength to continue your journey, others where everything is perfect. It was especially important for me to set goals, day by day, to achieve my long-term goals.

"That is to say what I have to do with my body and my mind, improve my game, my physique and my mind to reach the level I want."

Djokovic is equal fourth with Roy Emerson for most grand slams won by a man (12), trailing Roger Federer (20), Rafael Nadal (16) and Pete Sampras (14).

Ahead of facing Jaume Munar in the French Open second round on Wednesday, Djokovic said the second half of last year was a test – but he was pleased to find some form by reaching the Internazionali d'Italia semi-finals earlier this month.

"The last six months of 2017 have been really strange for me. Do not play, watch the tournaments on TV, start training again and then feel the pain again, it was really a challenge for me. I had to accept it," he said.

"These are the situations that make you stronger. It was nice to be rewarded in Rome after everything I went through.

"In terms of quality of play, it's certainly my best tournament in a year."

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