Novak Djokovic feels good ahead of the Banja Luka Challenger — but his elbow still isn’t 100 percent.
Djokovic returned to action at the Monte Carlo Masters but would bow out early in the round of 16 following a 6-4, 5-7, 4-6 defeat to Lorenzo Musetti.
The World No. 1 was troubled with an elbow problem during the match but refused to comment on it as he was looking ahead to the next tournament which is the ongoing ATP 250 event in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Having had time to recuperate since, Djokovic feels good mentally and is ready for his opening match against Luca van Assche on Wednesday.
That said, his elbow is still not in ideal shape.
“My elbow is not in an ideal shape but good enough to be ready for the first match,” Djokovic said (via Tennis 365). “One of the good things in tennis is that you get new opportunity to prove your worth every week and take a step forward. I’ve turned over a new leaf.
“Naturally, I wasn’t satisfied with the result in Monte Carlo. But, ever since I landed, I’ve felt welcomed in Banja Luka, a lot of positive energy and positive emotions.”
Van Assche is 18 years old and defeated three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka to set up a date with Djokovic. The tennis great doesn’t know much about his teenage opponent, but will not be underestimating him by any means.
“I don’t know much about the young French player,” Djokovic added. “I thought Wawrinka would win the match. I saw (Van Assche) play but not for long, he is a real fighter, fast, it’s difficult to get past him.
“No one should be underestimated.”
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