Novak Djokovic credits Gustavo Kuerten for his successful comeback to tennis

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Novak Djokovic credits Gustavo Kuerten for his successful comeback to tennis

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reveals former world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten gave him the key advice when he returned from an elbow surgery in 2018. The Serb underwent a minor surgery on his elbow in February 2018, before returning to action the following month.

But no one expected to see Djokovic playing so badly after returning from the surgery as the Serb lost his openers at the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami. After losing to Taro Daniel in Indian Wells and Benoit Paire in Miami, Djokovic wanted to take an indefinite break from tennis -- or even call it a career.

Djokovic's break from tennis lasted around 10 days and the Serb has since won five Grand Slam titles and returned to world No. 1. "Every time I asked for your advice or opinion, you were always available to respond in a very kind way, gave your thoughts to me," Djokovic said of Kuerten's help.

"As you told me in Paris (in 2018), it was to follow little by little to achieve my goals, be where I wanted to be. I came back from surgery very early. I felt, mentally, that all I needed to do to recover was to start hitting the tennis ball and get it out as soon as possible that I would play at a high level without problems.

"But it’s not like that. I felt that when I spoke to you, it was necessary to believe in this process, to stay in the routine. You know what it feels like to win and just go step by step and you’ll start to feel better and play better. And it was just like that. Part of my mind was convinced that what you said and my team said were true."