Twelve-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic believes he has learned a great lesson during his lengthy injury-enforced absence from tennis.
The 30-year-old was forced to undergo surgery on a long-standing elbow problem shortly after retiring during his Wimbledon quarter-final clash with Tomas Berdych in June.
It was a big decision, a big call to make, but I couldn't play anymore and there was no choice.Novak Djokovic
He is now preparing to re-join the action and is confident that he has learned not to put up with pain for so long and hinder his long-term goals of winning more Grand Slam titles and returning to the top of the world rankings.
Djokovic told Sport360: "It's been a real rollercoaster ride for me for a year and a half with this issue.
"I've never had surgery in my life, I've never had any major injuries that kept me away from the tour for such a long time. I never missed a Grand Slam in my career.
"It was a big decision, a big call to make, but I couldn't play anymore and there was no choice.
"I've learned a lesson, because I really want to avoid getting to that stage of an injury ever again in my career. It was a great lesson to learn to be honest."
The first major target for Djokovic is the Australian Open next month, with the Serb already a six-time champion in Melbourne.
Twelve months ago he suffered a shock second-round exit at the hands of Denis Istomin, making his earliest exit from the tournament for more than a decade.
Djokovic is available at 5/1 to win the 2018 Australian Open, with defending champion Roger Federer 7/4 and five-time runner-up Andy Murray priced at 1212/1.
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