Novak Djokovic said he felt drained of energy towards the end of his loss to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday, April 12, admitting that the defeat was almost inevitable going into the final set.
Playing in his fourth match of the season after he was denied a chance to defend his Australian Open title in January due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19, Djokovic was broken nine times and made 51 unforced errors in a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1 defeat by the Spaniard.
“I’m disappointed. No one likes to lose. We’re professional athletes. This is what we do. We go out on the court to compete and try to win against each other,” Djokovic, who has triumphed in Monaco twice, told reporters.
“I didn’t like the way I felt physically in the third set. I just ran out of the gas completely. Just couldn’t really stay in the rally with him. If you can’t stay in the rally, not feeling your legs on the clay, it’s mission impossible.”
“So I don’t like that feeling I experienced in the third set but I’m going to look with my team into reasons why that was the case and go back to the drawing board and hopefully next week will be better in Belgrade.”
Djokovic said he hoped to build his form for the French Open starting next month, where he will defend his crown.
“That’s the big goal of the clay season,” Djokovic said. “I knew a few days ago when I spoke to you… that it’s going to take time for me to really feel my best on the clay.
“That’s historically always been the case. Never played very well in the opening tournaments of the clay season. But it’s okay… I have to accept the defeat and keep working.” – Rappler.com