• ‘It’s been a tough few months, but he’s tried to do his best every day’ • Word is returning to world’s top 100 is return to peak form
Serbian star Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray for helping him to settle into a new No 1 ranking, his return to form after a lean patch.
At the French Open, Nadal and Murray both lost in the quarter-finals to allow Djokovic back into top spot, after a spell of injuries and poor results interrupted his 28-week reign.
Novak Djokovic rises to No 1 of ATP rankings Read more
Djokovic won five tournaments in 2017, including Roland Garros, and now trails only Nadal and Roger Federer in the World Tour’s rankings.
He said: “I think there is a huge benefit for both of them. I can be in their shoes and go through it. At the end of the day, you have to fight through.
“I’m very happy, and I’m very grateful to all of them. I’m in their company now, next to Roger, Rafa, Andy, and Stan [Wawrinka]. They are very good example to follow and are fulfilling their role that they have been given by the sport.
“It’s been a tough few months for me. Of course it is the next challenge for me and it is important I have the motivation, self-belief, and that I have support from a lot of people. All the conversations and things that go on, it’s important to really come to terms with this new position and be positive.”
Djokovic’s rise means that the names of Murray, Nadal and Federer trail him only behind the tennis god Federer, who has won four of the past five slam titles. Djokovic’s announcement was met with happy emotion by Roger Federer, who Tweeted “Awww @DjokerNole congratulations”.