Just a couple of posts ago I did a post after the US Open titled Final Thoughts on the 2016 US Open: Djokovic is Suffering from Burnout. Here you can hear from the man himself that he found it difficult to re-engage himself after winning the French Open.
The ones who said Djokovic would lose motivation was right but I make a distinction between losing motivation and burnout. If you lose motivation you stop caring whereas when you are burned out you still care but you are physically and mentally unable to motivate yourself.
This has been the case with Djokovic who played an awful lot of tennis since the beginning of 2015 which culminated in him winning the all important French Open. After the record-breaking season he had in 2015, he still wouldn’t have been able to completely relax, knowing that there was still a big hole in his resume without a French Open title.
So I see that period from the beginning of 2015 until winning the French Open title as an uninterrupted period of physical but especially mental engagement from Djokovic.
I don’t think it is any surprise therefore that he found it hard to re-engage himself after the French Open. The amazing thing is that he has already had the best year of all the players despite the burnout.
The only player who could prevent that from happening was Murray if he won the US Open but, of course, he lost in the quarterfinals. By making the US Open final Djokovic has already racked up another amazing year.
And it is not done. He still has Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, and London left and he is usually very good in those events. Here is how he performed in those events over the years:
- Beijing: 6 titles(most)
- Shanghai: 3 titles(most)
- Paris: 4 titles(most)
- World Tour Finals: 5 titles(1 behind Federer)
Not a bad record, is it? You would expect Djokovic to win at least two more titles toward the end of the year but maybe even three or four. Four will be difficult because I don’t think he will be fully recovered physically and mentally by the start of the indoor season.
The most important will be London where he will look to equal Federer and end another incredible year on a high. The off-season will give him some time to completely reset for the new year and then he can start anew in his quest of catching Federer in 2017.
In fact, that would be a better time to go for the calendar slam than in 2016 because he will start completely fresh missing out on the last two slams. But, of course, that always remains a very elusive achievement and only becomes a serious possibility if Djokovic wins the first three slams of the year.
Either way, I am looking forward to the indoor season and to the 2017 season to see what Djokovic’s form is like when he is completely fresh and able to fully engage himself again.