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.
|Former NBA star McGrady says Carmelo Anthony should retire|
|Celtics´ Smart: We have to look at ourselves in the mirror|
|Federer plays down preferential treatment talk|
|Mourinho is better than Guardiola – Maradona|
|Mbappe plays down Pele comparisons|
|Don´t worry bro – Mendy responds to Trump|
|Melvin, Snitker win manager of the year awards|
|Warriors´ Green suspended for Hawks clash|
|Asensio: It´s not for me to lead Madrid|
|Rooney ready to enjoy England farewell after pressure of ´Golden Generation´|
|Ludwigsburg stun high-flying Murcia in BCL|
|Rams v Chiefs moved to LA due to Mexico City field conditions|
|Skriniar discussing new Inter contract, confirms agent|
|Former Barcelona boss Martino named MLS Coach of the Year|
|Bell fails to report to Steelers, will sit out rest of season|
|Federer back on track after dismal Thiem display|
|Udinese appoint Nicola after sacking Velazquez|
|Monaco deny they broke rules regarding youth recruitment|
|Del Bosque, Zidane, Lopetegui - The former Castilla coaches Solari follows into Real Madrid hot seat|
|Ozil rejected ´crazy offers´ from Asia, reveals agent|
|Real Madrid appoint Solari on permanent basis|
|LeVert avoids need for surgery, should return this season|
|Neuer confident despite concerns over Bayern Munich form|
|All I ever wanted to do is win, says Sixers signing Butler|
|Pogba: Coming home to United was the best feeling ever|
|Watson among four signing new Bath deals|
|Susanna Dinnage to replace Scudamore as Premier League chief executive|
|Murray commits to Brighton until 2020|
|Rooney rejected chance of pre-World Cup farewell|
|Impressive Anderson thrashes Nishikori|
|Ozil´s Germany absence a ´pity´, says Sane|
|Rooney: I´ll finish my career in the US|
|McIlroy unsure of 2019 European Tour membership|
|Australian Open dismisses concerns of Federer scheduling bias|
|Hue Jackson joins Bengals staff as ´special assistant´|
|Real Madrid confirm Reguilon injury|
|Higuain handed two-match ban for Juve meltdown|
|Kruis ruled out for England as Jones calls up uncapped quartet|
|A year on from Italy failure, Ventura leaves Chievo after four games|
|Bairstow misses out as unchanged England promote Stokes|
|Recalled Alba denies Luis Enrique bust-up|
|´Unhappy´ Christensen won´t push for Chelsea exit|
|Nadal to make Abu Dhabi comeback in December|
|Taijul helps Bangladesh tighten their grip despite Taylor ton|
|Neymar joining Real Madrid wouldn´t hurt Iniesta|
|It´s just team spirit - Livingston not worried by Durant-Green exchange|
|Trippier out of England squad with groin injury|
|Ex-Sri Lanka international Lokuhettige charged by ICC|
|Former England and Chelsea star Joe Cole retires|
|Nets offer support to LeVert following serious leg injury|
|Panenka proud Sergio Ramos imitates his penalties|
|Liverpool´s Alisson seeks patience to reach potential|
|Anthony Davis leads Pelicans, Clippers hold off Warriors in OT|
|Lindelof rues international break for Man Utd|
|Shaqiri confident in more goals for Liverpool|
|Giants too good for 49ers in crunch time|
|Southgate named honorary Yorkshireman|
|Nicky Butt: Manchester United are low on confidence|
|Criticism of Barcelona star Dembele is overblown - agent|
|Thibodeau discusses Butler trade: We thought this was the best deal for us|
|Acuna, Ohtani win rookie of the year awards|
|LeBron James on Lakers’ early season struggles: ‘I almost cracked’|
|Welbeck has successful second operation on broken ankle|
|UEFA warns FFP cases can be reopened based on ´new information´|
|Foakes to keep England place for second Test|
|WATCH: Rooney looking sharp in England training return|
|Mbappe: Money in football is truly indecent|
|Djokovic back to brilliant best as Isner is beaten|
|Celta Vigo replace Mohamed with Cardoso after Real Madrid defeat|
|Joshua intrigued by Usyk, says Hearn|