When a crestfallen Novak Djokovic embarked on a hiking trip in the mountains after crashing out of the French Open he could not have envisaged scaling such heights in a short space of time.
The Serbian did not know what had hit him as he trudged off Court Suzanne Lenglen following a shock quarter-final defeat to surprise package Marco Cecchinato at Roland Garros in June.
Djokovic had showed signs that he might be capable of ending a two-year major drought with coach Marian Vajda back in his corner on the famous clay where he completed a career Grand Slam in 2016.
Yet in a tiny conference interview room which he curiously retreated to following his stunning loss to Cecchinato, one of the all-time greats sounded like a man who knew he had already reached his peak
Asked if he was back, the 31-year-old, who spent almost six months on the sidelines following elbow surgery last year, said: "I am back in the locker room. That's where I'm back."
In a brief, bizarre press conference, a fuming Djokovic added that he was "not thinking about tennis at the moment" and suggested he may not play in the grass-court season.
Djokovic's decided it was time to head for the hills with his wife and he has never looked back.
Having conquered Mount Victoire, he looked every inch tennis royalty at Queen's Club before losing to Marin Cilic in the final.
With a new lease of life following his alternative French expedition at altitude, Djokovic's swagger was back at Wimbledon, where he claimed a 13th grand slam title just six weeks after sinking to such a low ebb in Paris.
Not content with that triumph at the All England Club, he became the first man to complete a clean sweep of all nine Masters titles at the Cincinnati Masters with a straight-sets victory over Roger Federer.
Extraordinary stamina, flexibility, skill and burning desire which he has demonstrated for much of an illustrious career earned him major title number 14 at the US Open last month.
Asked about his post-French Open break, Djokovic said at Flushing Meadows: "We sat down [at the top of Mount Victoire] and we just looked at the world from that perspective, just kind of breathed in the new inspiration, new motivation.
"I thought of tennis, thought of the emotion that tennis provokes in me in a way. It was all positives. I just felt like I had a new breath for this sport. The rest is history in terms of results, in terms of how I felt. I just felt like a whole wave of energy that I was kind of thriving on from that moment onwards."
His incredible upturn in fortunes continued with a record fourth Shanghai Masters triumph on Sunday, outclassing Borna Coric to extend his winning streak to 18 matches.
From 21st in the rankings after his French Open exit, Djokovic has climbed up to second and closing in on Rafael Nadal.
Far from experiencing vertigo after such a rapid rise, he looks destined to reach new heights.
24 de abril 2019
|Atletico Madrid 3 Valencia 2: Late Correa stunner seals win as Barca´s title party is delayed|
|Keane on Pogba: I wouldn´t believe a word he says|
|De Villiers, Stoinis inspire in-form RCB to another win|
|Gayle & Russell headline Windies World Cup squad|
|Former Barcelona chief Rosell acquitted of money laundering|
|United v City: Darmian and Pereira in as Solskjaer wields axe|
|Mourinho: Some players might think I´m a b******|
|Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe? Who is Europe´s most prolific young goalscorer?|
|Steelers sign Roethlisberger to two-year contract extension|
|Frank Lampard charged with misconduct by FA|
|Zidane: Bale sale not required to sign Hazard|
|Player sacked after missing Panenka in shoot-out loss|
|FA welcomes anti-racism manifesto backed by Sterling|
|Ravens make Tucker highest-paid kicker in NFL|
|Nadal fights back to halt Mayer in Barcelona|
|Springbok De Jager sold on three-year Sale deal|
|AFC Champions League Review: Holders Kashima Antlers suffer first defeat|
|Alaphilippe defends Fleche Wallonne title in tight finish|
|Cowboys pick up Ezekiel Elliott´s fifth-year option|
|Champions Cup final quintet nominated for European Player of the Year|
|NFL Draft 2019: How does Kyler Murray compare to QBs taken first overall?|
|Pukki, Sharp and Abraham top PFA Championship Team of the Year|
|Mourinho recharged by rest but not planning Premier League return|
|Pro14 set for brotherly battle as Jerry Sexton joins Southern Kings|
|Sometimes things I want don´t happen – Zidane cagey over futures of Navas, Courtois|
|Hamilton desperate to improve on Baku struggles|
|Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi undergoes successful surgery|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton and Bottas seeking historic one-two - Azerbaijan GP in numbers|
|LaLiga is the primary goal – Zidane out to end Barca´s recent dominance next term|
|NRL Opta facts: Roosters hoping to address poor ANZAC Day record|
|Ulreich: Nubel should hold off on Bayern Munich move|
|Almiron a doubt for Copa America due to hamstring injury|
|I´m still a Manchester United fan - Blind hopeful of resurgence under Solskjaer|
|Golden Knights blast ´embarrassing´ penalty call in dramatic Sharks defeat|
|Rangnick lauds RB Leipzig´s unique rise|
|Turin to host ATP Finals from 2021 to 2025|
|Chelsea manager Sarri charged by FA|
|I was just waving goodbye to them - Lillard sends Thunder packing|
|Manchester United players will have no hiding place against City - Solskjaer|
|Ortiz will not replace Miller to fight Joshua|
|United v City: De Gea, Pogba and the Red Devils´ stars in need of a ´reality check´|
|United v City: Aguero ready to shine after Old Trafford absences|
|Ferguson convinced me to take up management – Milosevic´s road to Partizan|
|United v City: Solskjaer out to correct Manchester derby record|
|United v City: Were the Red Devils too hasty to appoint Solskjaer?|
|Wheeler impresses in Mets´ win over Phillies|
|Raptors, 76ers advance as Lillard´s buzzer-beater sends Blazers through|
|Lillard´s stunning buzzer-beating three eliminates Thunder|
|Embiid: 76ers can win NBA Finals|
|Tigres UANL 0 Monterrey 1: Visitors draw first blood in Champions League final|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Cruzeiro stay perfect, Mineiro eliminated|
|Sterling reveals Van Dijk snub in favour of Kane|
|Frappart to become first female Ligue 1 referee|
|Cousins ´highly unlikely´ to return for Warriors in playoffs, says Kerr|
|Long´s Premier League record will be hard to beat – Hasenhuttl|
|Jovic to Madrid a ´real possibility´ – Eintracht director|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five overrated prospects, starting with a first-round QB|
|NFL Draft 2019: Teams with most riding on outcome|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five best first-round fits|
|Emery launches defence of Arsenal´s Mustafi|
|Valverde not bothered when Barca are crowned LaLiga champions|
|We have a chance to make change – Sterling calls for more to be done to combat racism|
|Solskjaer: Man Utd not ready to compete with City or Liverpool next season|
|Pochettino still harbours hope of Eriksen extension|
|Klopp set for Dortmund reunion in US friendly|
23 de abril 2019
|49ers kicker Gould trying to force trade|
|Saracens wing Strettle to retire|
|Sevastova serves up Stuttgart bagel to oust Ostapenko|
|Man City have ´definitely not´ been offered Pogba again, insists Guardiola|
|Lucky loser Jarry shocks struggling Zverev in Barcelona|