Acapulco - Novak Djokovic said on Monday he is ready to
atone for his shock Australian Open exit as he prepares to return to action in
The 29-year-old world number two makes his bow in the
tournament on Tuesday, his first match since tumbling out in Melbourne last
month in the second round against Uzbekistand's Denis Istomin.
The Australian Open defeat was the nadir of a challenging
dip in form for the Serbian former world number one, who has won only two
titles since July last year.
Djokovic, who is making his debut in Acapulco, said he feels
in a healthier frame of mind since his travails of recent months.
"All in all, I feel that I'm in a much better state of
mind than maybe I was at the end of last year. So I keep on going. I love this
sport. That's why I'm playing it. That's why I'm here. I'm just hoping that I
can stay healthy and as dedicated as best as I can be," Djokovic said.
Djokovic, who plays Slovakia's Martin Klizan in the first
round, admitted going out in Melbourne so early had come as a shock.
"I haven't experienced the first-week Australian Open
loss for many years," said Djokovic.
"But it's kind of normal and expected to go through
those times when you're not playing as best as you can maybe, as best as you
want to be, or maybe the opponent has an amazing day. It's sport. You have to
deal with it, and you can always learn much more from the losses."
In early round action on Monday, American eighth seed John
Isner was upset by compatriot Steve Johnson, going down in straight sets 6-4,
Fifth seed David Goffin had no such difficulty however,
breezing past France's Stephane Robert 6-1, 6-2.