Novak Djokovic has admitted that he is not sure how long it will take for him to rediscover top form, as he prepares to bid for a fifth Italian Open title.
The world number two accepts he has struggled for motivation and focus since completing a full set of Grand Slam titles with victory at the French Open last year.
If I could describe my tennis in one word, I feel like I’m in transition.
However, he feels that he is heading in the right direction, having reached the semi-finals of the Madrid Open, where he was beaten in straight sets by eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
He told the official ATP Tour website: “We’ll see whether this week is going to give me that springboard into where I want to be in the next six months, or if it’s going to take a little longer.
“What I know for sure is that I’m doing my very best to rediscover myself in a new way and get the new strength and the new skin, so to speak.
“If I don’t want to win every match I play, win Grand Slams and be No.1 in the world, then I wouldn’t be playing tennis professionally.
“If I could describe my tennis in one word, I feel like I’m in transition. Last year I found some emptiness for the first time in my life in terms of motivation. I needed a few months to think about things and get that mojo back on the court.”
Djokovic won the Italian Open title in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2015, while he has also lost in the final in Rome on three other occasions – including 12 months ago when he was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Andy Murray.