Pat Cash doesn't think Novak Djokovic's decline has already started, but at the same time he thinks that it will be obviously difficult to see him playing at the highest level straightaway. Interviewed by BBC, the former Australian Champion made a comparison between Djokovic and Roger Federer, who took the same decision last year.
'It will take time for him to get his intensity back,' the 1987 Wimbledon men's singles champion said. 'It won't be like Roger Federer, who was winning Grand Slams straight out of the blocks after he came back [after several months out with a knee injury in 2016], but some time next year he will be playing well again.
Djokovic's style is very similar to almost everyone else on the circuit, but he was just that bit fitter, that bit more flexible, that bit more mentally tough. He has probably lost two of those three major qualities, but he will be very sensible and make sure he is ready when he does come back.
I do think he will be competitive again.' Cash takes what's positive from Djokovic's five-month break: 'He could mentally refresh, get his enthusiasm back, and start back again strongly. We all know how tough and athletic he is, we want to see that again.
It might seem a bit obvious for a tennis player to get tennis elbow and there is literally no cure for it, it just takes time, usually about a year or so, to fix it. But it is probably just what the doctor ordered, to take time off.
After so many unbelievable years, 2017 has been poor for him.' ALSO READ: Novak Djokovic calls it a season: 'My doctors all agreed I need to rest'