Tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have both given their views on current world no.1 Novak Djokovic’s poor run of form.
Djokovic’s game performances have rapidly declined since becoming only the eighth player in history to complete a career Grand Slam, at the French Open earlier this year, and the first man since Australian Rod Laver in 1969 to win four straight Grand Slams.
After a disappointing third round exit at this year’s Wimbledon, followed by a first round loss at the Rio Olympics only a month later, which saw the Serbian break down in tears, Djokovic admitted to being “emotionally and mentally exhausted.”
Both Nadal and Federer themselves have had high and low points throughout their distinguished careers, and Federer believes that Djokovic needs to question what his motivation is in the sport now.
"Novak is going through a crisis and it surprised me," Federer said, via IBtimes. I expected him to win an important tournament after Roland Garros, Toronto aside. But once you realise career Grand Slam, a new career begins.
"You have to ask yourself, why do I keep playing? You have to change your mentality, what are your goals? Sometimes it requires a week, sometimes a month, a year or you do not find the right feeling anymore."
Nadal offered a different sentiment, claiming that although tennis was a huge part of his life, there are more important things to focus on.
"Life is much more than tennis for me personally," the Spaniard admitted. "In my life there has always been a lot of very important things away from tennis, and it's true that tennis has been for the last 20 years an important part of my life, for sure, but in life there is a lot more important things than just the game.
"So happiness is other things, the health of your family, the people who you love and their health and to be close to them. That in my opinion is happiness."
Djokovic still has a 2,415 point lead in the ATP rankings over world no.2 Andy Murray, however, should Murray win the ongoing Erste Bank Open and the Paris Masters next month, then Djokovic would need to, at least, reach the final in Paris to secure top spot at the end of the season.