Novak Djokovic admits that winning a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio would be arguably the greatest achievement of his career.
In June, the Serbian became the first man in 47 years to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time and an Olympic gold remains the only major accolade missing from his cabinet.
Djokovic, who has declared himself fully fit for the Games, is hoping to improve on his last two Olympics after only managing a bronze medal in Beijing eight years ago and finishing fourth in London in 2012.
“It would be ranked as one of the highest if not the highest achievement that I would have in my career,” said Djokovic.
“But I’ve got to stay humble, I’ve got to take a very cautious mindset into this Olympic Games. I have a bronze from Beijing, London I fell short but I always played with my heart and all I had when I play for my country.
“The Olympic Games is much larger than tennis, much larger than you. The first thing I felt when I stepped into the village was that incredible active energy. It inspires you and motivates you to give your best.”
The 29-year-old bounced back from his third-round exit at Wimbledon with a Masters triumph in Toronto last week.
Despite his disappointment at ending his impressive grand slam run in the UK, Djokovic believes his loss at Wimbledon could help him come out on top in Brazil.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the hard-court season, obviously hard court being my most preferred surface,” Djokovic continued.
“I was looking forward to competing in Toronto and everything happens in life for a reason. That extra week allowed me to regroup mentally, physically, emotionally, spend some quality time with my family, think about something else and then obviously get ready and be prepared better for what’s coming up.
“Toronto was a great week, no sets lost, and I’m ready. I’m really very much looking forward to the Olympic Games.”