Johannesburg: “Stay home and have good times with the kids,”-this is the advice that has been given by Juan Martin Del Potro to 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic as he prepares for a long break from tennis.
The world number five announced last Wednesday that he will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury.
Djokovic, who has been struggling with form this season, suffered a fresh blow earlier this month when an elbow injury curtailed his chance to lift the Wimbledon title for the fourth time.
The Serbian came into the match with a 25-2 head-to-head record against Tomas Berdych, but retired while trailing 7-6(2), 2-0 in the quarter-finals.
Del Potro himself has endured long absences while battling nagging wrist injuries and thus he knows the challenge Djokovic faces.
“It’s not easy to stop for a long time and come back,” Sport24 quoted Del Potro as saying.
“Many players can play good after a long injury, but they won’t play as good (soon after) as they will in the future. My advice is to have good times at home with the kids and you will be strong enough when you are ready to come back,” he insisted.
Djokovic and his wife have a two-year-old son Stefan and are expecting another child later this year.
The Serbian maestro has endured a turbulent 12 months after becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slams at the same time following his French title last year.
He has failed to add another major title to his account, bowing out of the Australian Open in the second round before making a quarter-final exit at the French Open.