Novak Djokovic has published an open letter on his website explaining the mental struggles he has overcome in order to claim his fourth Wimbledon title.
The former World No.1 has found it difficult to rediscover his form in coming back from an injured right elbow that needed surgery and forced him off the tour for the last half of 2017.
As his losses accumulated, his ranking fell out of the top 20 for the first time in more than a decade. He grew so frustrated with his form that he spoke ahead about skipping the grass-court circuit and a drop in motivation for off-court reasons.
"In 2017, the injury of my right elbow was so severe that I was forced to be out from the Tour for 6 months," Djokovic said on his website.
"Injury was one of the issues, the other big one was any motivation. I didn't have problems to practice and to enjoy the tennis court but I had mental hurdles when I had to compete. One day I will share more in depth what kind of challenges I had to face and how I felt.
"I have always respected people that share their most vulnerable moments as their turning points in finding true strength that inspires so many people. I was vulnerable so many times in the last few years. And I am still vulnerable. I am not ashamed of it. In contrary, it makes me more true to myself and others. It allows me to get closer to people. It allows me to "dig deep" and analyze what is truly happening inside of me. When I find that out, I am able to create a strategy to overcome this occurring issue and move on as a stronger, wiser, happier human being.
"For the last 2 years, I wasn't patient with my tennis expectations. I wasn't wise in strategizing. And I certainly wasn't clearly hearing my body telling me that there is something serious happening with my elbow. I was trying to find solutions somewhere else and solution was always inside of me."
Djokovic also thanked his family enthusiastically and described his straight-sets win over Kevin Anderson as one of the best of his career.
"The feeling of having my son in my wife's arms at the trophy ceremony in the Players box was the most wonderful sensation I have had at any tournament that I have ever won in my career.
"Everyone keeps on asking me to describe the feeling. I have said it is unforgettable, special, fulfilling, wonderful, joyful. But most of all, it is Magical! When I thought that moment could not get any better, he shouted "Daddy, Daddy!" That's when I completely melted. Overwhelmed with emotions. Happy and joyful beyond belief. I am so GRATEFUL to have experienced that."