Toronto: Novak Djokovic said it took him only hours to digest his early Wimbledon defeat, and his hopes are high heading into a hardcourt season that this year includes the Rio Olympics.
Serbia’s world number one insisted his third-round loss to Sam Querrey at the All England Club — which ended his hopes of going on to secure a rare calendar Grand Slam — was behind him.
“I trust that everything happens for a reason,” said Djokovic, who will have a first-round bye at the Toronto Masters before taking the court for the first time since that shocking upset.
“I didn’t enjoy losing in the first week of a Grand Slam, but the next day it was already behind me.
“I had so much to do in my private life, being a father and husband. I didn’t think too much about it. But I know you can always learn more from your losses than your wins.
“The Wimbledon loss cannot overshadow the results that I’ve had in the past 15 months,” said Djokovic, whose defeat at Wimbledon was his earliest at a Grand Slam in seven years. “Now, it’s a new beginning.”
Toronto marks the start of an extra busy spell for Djokovic, who is also eyeing Rio and the Cincinnati Masters before the final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open, starts on August 29.
A host of other top players opted out of Toronto to rest up for Rio, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, reigning champion Andy Murray and former winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Djokovic, a three-time winner of the Canadian title, said he wouldn’t be putting any pressure on himself.
“I don’t expect anything, I just want to try and get ready to perform as best I can,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the tournament.
“I have a good history here. I want to play well and get as many hours on the court as possible.”
Japanese third seed Kei Nishikori said that staying healthy after a Wimbledon abdominal injury is his most immediate concern.
“It’s not an easy schedule, there are three big events (Toronto, Rio, Cincinnati) and then the US Open,” said Asia’s top player. “My main hope is to remain healthy and stay strong.
“I was in the gym last week, I’m feeling healthy. This is a great opportunity for me to have a good event here and carry the good confidence into the Olympics.”
Nishikori said he does not look too closely at his ranking, preferring to concentrate on his weekly form. “I want to stay top right for the Grand Slams. But I’m aiming for London (ATP Tour Finals) at the end of the season.”