(CNN) — Tennis star Novak Djokovic thought the crowd in New York had started booing him after winning the US Open, he said Monday.
“For sure, it was very strange to hear and to hear the crowd boo,” he said. “I was enjoying my match. It was such a good atmosphere.”
However, he couldn’t believe it himself until he saw the replay on replay: “I saw video footage and I thought, ‘Aha!’”
Having lost his No. 1 ranking to Andy Murray, he will be hoping to get back to his best in this week’s Miami Open.
The 31-year-old is seeded No. 6 for the event in Florida — after becoming world No. 1 on New Year’s Day last year — with Serena Williams recovering from giving birth.
Djokovic could be in for a bumpy second round against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber or Poland’s Lukasz Kubot, who are both right behind him.
In his first match at Miami since last summer’s surgery on an elbow problem, Djokovic beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday.
“I’m playing really well, serving really well, and feeling comfortable on the court,” said Djokovic after his opening match.
“I’m focused now on defending my title.”
Battling his way back
After an exhausting 2016 season in which he had nine major titles, the Serb has been dogged by a nagging elbow injury that forced him to retire from his quarterfinal against Marin Cilic at Wimbledon.
In his absence, Murray has claimed two titles and is ranked No. 1.
However, he was beaten in a five-set marathon match at Indian Wells by Roger Federer — Djokovic’s Davis Cup team-mate.
In February, the six-time major winner admitted he was struggling for strength and power in his right arm, but said he hoped to return to his best form at the French Open.
The event begins Thursday and is likely to be Djokovic’s last action before the French Open begins on May 22.
Should the Serb be victorious in Miami, he will set a new record for consecutive weeks at No. 1.