Djokovic embraces return to hard court


Novak Djokovic says his expectations are in check as he returns to action on his favourite surface at the Rogers Cup following a shock Wimbledon exit.

The world number one was stunned by Sam Querrey in the third round to surrender his title at the All England Club earlier this month.

A three-time winner and last year's beaten finalist in Toronto, the Serbian will be the heavy favourite again, particularly given the absence of Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. 

The 29-year-old, while acknowledging his positive record at the Masters 1000 event, opted not to talk up his chances on the outdoor hard courts of the Aviva Centre.

"I don't expect anything," he told the ATP World Tour website. "I just try to get myself ready for performing as best as I can.

"I had a bit more time because of the early loss at Wimbledon to spend some quality time with family, regroup a little bit and start training on hard court, which I enjoy the most. So I look forward to it.

"I have a wonderful history in the Rogers Cup in Toronto and Montreal. That's what goes through my mind right now. Just enjoy, play well, play singles and doubles and get as many hours in as possible."

With Nadal missing the tournament through injury and Murray and Federer opting to rest after Wimbledon, the beaten finalist at SW19, Canadian Milos Raonic, looms as a likely contender. 

"He's definitely one of the players that we're going to see a lot of in future," Djokovic said of the world number seven.

"He works very hard. He's got John McEnroe in his team so he's really striving to get better on and off the court."