Novak lost 3-6 4-6 to Benoit Paire in the second round of the Miami Open on Friday.
Novak: “I wanted to come to Indian Wells and Miami because I wanted to see whether I can play a match. I love playing on the hard court. I wanted to get a couple tournaments before the clay court season starts. I obviously wasn’t ready for that. I felt I started the match well, first six games, then I just ran out of gas. He was serving well. I just wasn’t able to break him down. He was just coming up with the good shots at the right time. It happened very fast.”
Novak: “The last few days have been the first days in long, long time that I could actually focus on the game rather than have something in my mind always worried whether I’m going to have pain or not, and usually it happened. It’s quite refreshing because everything else was pain involved.
I’m not yet at my best but I’m working to get there. Every day is a process for me and is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to get better. Obviously the two years of an injury and trying to figure out ways how to play pain-free, which I wasn’t able to a lot of times in the last couple years, were compromising my game.
Right now I’m not playing with the pain, which is the most important thing, and I can actually start focusing on the game rather than thinking about whether the pain is going to reappear or not.”