Frustrated Novak Djokovic can't find rhythm in return from layoff, suffers BNP Paribas Open loss


What to look for from the men at this years BNP Paribas Open.
Richard Lui/The Desert Sun

Novak Djokovic is again playing tennis on the ATP Tour. That doesn’t mean that the former world No. 1 is back to his top form, or even close to it.

“For me, it felt like first match I ever played on the tour,” Djokovic said after losing his first match at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 to Japan’s Taro Daniel. “Very weird. I mean, I just completely lost rhythm, everything. Just struggled also a little bit with the health the last couple of weeks.

“I was grateful to be out on the court after surgery that quickly,” Djokovic added. “But at the same time, just didn’t feel good at all.”

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The surgery, what was termed a “small medical intervention” on an elbow that has plagued Djokovic and forced him off the tour for a long rest during the second half of 2017, came in February. That was…

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