Djokovic out to scotch rumors of his decline

Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:09pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic intends to come out fighting at next week's ATP World Tour Finals and prove that rumors of his decline have been grossly exaggerated.

It seems a long time ago now that the all-conquering Serb was being tipped for a calendar-year grand slam, having won the Australian and French Open titles.

Andy Murray was his victim in both those finals but last week the Scot evicted Djokovic from the ATP's world number one spot that he had jealously guarded for more than two years.

Since his long-awaited first Roland Garros title in June, Djokovic has suffered some crushing blows; losing to Sam Querrey in the third round at Wimbledon, exiting the Rio Olympics in the first round and then being trumped by Stan Wawrinka in the U.S. Open final.

He has not won a title since July and a first career loss to Marin Cilic in last week's Paris Masters opened the door for a hungry Murray to steam through to the summit for the first time.

Niggling injuries have not helped Djokovic while rumors have abounded of emotional burnout.

The 29-year-old admitted on Friday that his early-season exploits had taken a toll, but said he was determined to end the year on a high and claim a fifth consecutive Tour Finals title.

"I'm here in London to crown this year with the best possible result," Djokovic told reporters on Friday.   Continued...

Britain Tennis - Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Preview - O2 Arena, London - 11/11/16 Serbia's Novak Djokovic during a press conference Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien Livepic