Djokovic reveals hike in France key to improved form

A hike in the French mountains was key to US Open champion Novak Djokovic's return to form this year.

US Open champion Novak Djokovic joined Pete Sampras on 14 Grand Slams after a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's final at Flushing Meadows.   -  Getty Images

US Open champion Novak Djokovic revealed a hike in the French mountains led to a turnaround in his season.

Djokovic joined Pete Sampras on 14 Grand Slams after a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's final at Flushing Meadows.

It also marked the Serbian's second straight major success, while he holds a 26-2 win-loss record since his quarter-final defeat at the French Open.

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Djokovic said a hike up Mont Sainte-Victoire after his shock defeat to Marco Cecchinato at Roland Garros helped turn his season around.

"I was so close to desired level, and then I just completely underplayed that match. I had to kind of disconnect a little bit," he told a news conference.

"I went hiking with my wife for five days in the French mountains. We just isolated ourselves and took things from a different perspective.

"Ever since then, the tennis is completely different for me. In terms of results, I played finals of Queen's, won Wimbledon, won Cincinnati, and won US Open. I guess we'll be hiking some more very soon."

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Djokovic has appeared to be nearing top form in the second half of the year, and only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17) have won more majors than the 31-year-old.

The three-time US Open winner said his hike in France had given him a fresh perspective on life. "I remember one moment particularly when we climbed that mountain. It was pretty high. We reached the top after three hours. Credit to my wife. Amazing. She's so fit. I can't believe she managed to get all the way up," Djokovic said.

"We sat down and we just looked at the world from that perspective, just kind of breathed in the new inspiration, new motivation.

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"I thought of tennis, thought of the emotion that tennis provokes in me in a way. It was all positives. I just felt like I had a new breath for this sport.

"The rest is history in terms of results, in terms of how I felt. I just felt like a whole wave of energy that I was kind of thriving on from that moment onwards."

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