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.
12. November 2018
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|Rafinha replaces injured Casemiro in Brazil squad|
|´One-dimensional´ Australia batsmen need work before World Cup - Finch|
|Mancini keen to work with ´incredibly gifted´ Tonali|
|Italian manager of the year Allegri targets long Juve stay|
|Injured Lee departs as Wales prepare squad for Tonga|
|Conte content to wait until June for coaching return|
|Etzebeth set to return, Whiteley a doubt for Scotland Test|
|In-form Verstappen does not need distractions from 2019 challenge|
|FA asks Guardiola to explain Manchester derby referee comments|
|LaLiga MVP Messi hopes the division stays wide open|
|Murray and Henshaw out of All Blacks Test|
|Injured Man Utd duo Pogba and Martial drop out of France squad|
|Modric cannot always be the best - Dalic|
|Very troubling times - LeBron James alarmed by gun violence|
|Bayern confirm Ribery ´altercation´ with reporter|
|Madrid hit by injuries to Nacho and Casemiro|
|Record-breaking Mushfiqur torments Zimbabwe|
|Spartak Moscow appoint Oleg Kononov|
|Rooney predicts ´exciting time´ after being named in MLS Best XI|
|Former England call-up Graham replaces Thomson in Scotland squad|
|Slater and Thurston among Queensland greats to join Maroons staff|
|Rapana set for six months out after shoulder surgery|
|Alves determined to play in the Premier League|
|Rockets GM denies Anthony will be waived|
|Monaco´s plight not Henry´s fault - Silva|
|It´s like the FBI came - River assistant unable to talk to Gallardo during final|
|Norman says Washington home crowds ´just don´t really care´|
|Bucks beat Nuggets to finish gruelling schedule stretch|
|Madrid ´very happy´ with Solari, says Butragueno|
|Titans stun Patriots, Browns upset Falcons|
|Browns´ Chubb relishes record-breaking performance: It definitely is very special|
|MLS Review: Red Bulls, Atlanta to meet in conference finals|
|Neymar wants more from perfect PSG|
|Higuain is feeling a lot of pressure – Gattuso|
|I didn´t insult anyone, says apologetic Higuain|
|Allegri delighted with Juventus response|
|Kyle Busch wins at Phoenix as Harvick, Truex qualify for Championship 4|
|WATCH: Highlights of thrilling Boca-River Copa Libertadores final|
|PSG coach Tuchel demands more despite Monaco thrashing|
|Boca missed too many chances, rues Schelotto|
|Solari remains tight-lipped on Real Madrid future|
|Hamilton not surprised by Verstappen-Ocon collision|
11. November 2018
|Ronaldo fires Juventus to Serie A record|
|Higuain did nothing serious - Ronaldo hopes Milan striker avoids ban|
|Solari completes perfect Real Madrid audition with fourth straight win|
|Verstappen ordered to do public service after Ocon scuffle|
|Nishikori stuns out-of-sorts Federer|
|Fitzgerald overtakes Owens in career receiving yards|
|Monaco 0 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Cavani hat-trick adds to Henry woes|
|Celta Vigo 2 Real Madrid 4: Solari leads Los Blancos to fourth straight win|
|AC Milan 0 Juventus 2: Higuain sent off in horror show|
|Brees leapfrogs Favre on all-time list for touchdown passes|
|Kuchar holds on to seal first title since 2014|
|Nuno proud of Wolves display at Arsenal|
|Jones fastest in NFL to reach 10,000 receiving yards|
|WATCH: Verstappen shoves Ocon after Brazilian Grand Prix collision|
|Boca Juniors 2 River Plate 2: Izquierdoz own goal ensures first leg ends level|
|Australia will be a different ball game, warns Rohit|
|We´re not going to be relegated – Mourinho at ease over United being eighth|
|Mahomes breaks Chiefs´ single-season TD record|
|Toronto Wolfpack name McDermott as head coach|
|Guardiola: Manchester City fought fear in derby triumph|
|Sterling should have avoided showboating - Guardiola|
|Ocon: Verstappen wanted to punch me in post-race altercation|
|Emery confirms Welbeck fractured ankle|
|Hamilton secures double for Mercedes as Ocon denies Verstappen|
|City´s 44 passes lead to Gundogan derby goal|
|Pogba injury threw Manchester United, concedes Mourinho|
|First-half display cost us, laments Barcelona boss Valverde|