Novak Djokovic’s long-awaited return to the ATP Tour is less than a week away as he gears up for singles and doubles duty at the Paris Masters.
The Serbian will be playing his first tournament since he was beaten in the US Open final by Daniil Medvedev, costing himself the chance of completing the Calendar Slam.
Talking to Eurosport, two-time French Open finalist Alex Corretja admitted his surprise and excitement at the news that Djokovic will compete in Paris.
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“Yes I am a bit [surprised], because in a way, it has been a while since he has not played,” he said.
“I think it is such great news that he wants to play and I am looking forward to it because Paris is always a tricky Masters. The players are a little bit tired physically and mentally. The year has been very long and it opens up a chance for many other players to succeed.”
Corretja suggested Djokovic’s return is fuelled by the Serbian’s aim to finish the season as world number one:
When you try to become the greatest in history, everything counts,
“For Novak, I think finishing the year at number one in the world is important. I don’t think we count how many weeks they have been number one in between Federer Nadal or Djokovic, but the end of the year ranking does matter a lot.
“At the same time, it shows that he does not want to stay away from the circuit for four months. Usually the surface in Paris is really good for him, it is not like he needs to adjust anything incoming. It is natural and that is also why I think he’s trying to play.”

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Djokovic was beaten 6-4 6-4 6-4 by Medvedev in the final of the US Open in September.
“I think that from the beginning of the tournament it was difficult to deal with the pressure and with the situation,” Corretja said.
“Every time he stepped in a press conference or on the court it was huge pressure. I think he did not feel good at any point of the tournament, he was just trying to fight his way through but he got into the finals and he was exhausted, I believe more mentally than physically.”
When asked if Djokovic had enough in the tank to have another go at winning the four Slams in a single year, Corretja said it might be "difficult" because players are improving and the younger generation could prove problematic:
I think that is going to be very difficult because the players are improving and every time he is going to face a younger one, they know his game a bit better.
“Now they also know that he lost to Medvedev, Zverev beat him at the Olympics.
“At the US Open he [Zverev] caused him a lot of troubles too, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas is going to be there, and some others.
“I would be very surprised if he's going to be in the same situation next year at the US Open.
“I will say no because I think some other players will come in and will cause him some problems, but of course I'm counting on him to still win Slams.
“Definitely because he's ready mentally and physically.”
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