A month after defending his title in Paris, Djokovic still has a lot of work to do

There is still a month for the Serb, still far from his best, to gain strength before the Paris Grand Slam.

No, Novak Djokovic is not a machine. Like in Monte Carlo, where he lost on the way out, Serbian mechanics have completely taken over in the last set on Sunday in Belgrade. The Serb ran out of batteries in the final sprint, having exhausted his last reserves in the second set tiebreaker and having won the previous three games in consecutive sets. Novak Djokovic ended his week at home with great momentum and the still solid Andrey Rublev took advantage of it (2-6, 7-6, 6-0). It is only the 12th time in his impressive career. that the Serbian fits. a 6-0, the fifth time in a final. And the crime of injuring Her Majesty, Rublev inflicted a bubble on Djokovic at his home in Belgrade in his hometown in front of 8,000 fans committed to his cause.

He still would not recover from a mysterious illness

Betrayed by his physique, the world number one is currently concerned about his physical autonomy. And where a Rafael Nadal will always hide his ills after a defeat, Djokovic has not hidden his. According to him, he has not yet recovered from a mysterious illness, contracted before Monte Carlo and which should have ” it significantly affected my metabolism for several weeks». He has developed: “I wanted Monte Carlo, but I couldn’t prepare. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it since the beginning of my career. That’s why I think it’s related to this disease. I imagine recovery will take a little longer than expected “.

Are you suffering from the side effects of covid-19? Who does not want and has not wanted to be vaccinated says no. A certainty. Due to his stubborn refusal to go through the fist box, the Serb missed much of the start of the season, including the Australian Open, as well as the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami and Indian Wells. . His lack of competition also clearly explains his big foul in the last set. In front of a member of the top 10, he showed his current limits. His defeat at the entrance to Monte Carlo had already shown his lack of rhythm. It must be said that clay is still the area where the 35-year-old Serb has the most difficulties, although he has already gained a lot, including two Roland Garros (2016 and 2021).

In search of sensations and milestones for the Paris meeting

The fiery champion also recalled how hard it was to control his nerves when things were not going well. Television cameras caught a glimpse of the moment when the Belgrade native threw his racket in frustration at a ball boy. Thanks to a reflex, the boy avoided the worst … If the racket had touched the pick-up, the Djoker would surely have been disqualified, as when he had inadvertently made a balance to a line judge during the US Open 2020. In short, the man with 20 Grand Slam titles has not gone far from a new controversy of which he has the secret …

But “Nole” was still smiling after his defeat. At home he found in part, according to him, sensations and milestones. In alternating current, against his compatriots Laslo Djere, Miomir Kecmanovic, then the Russian Karen Khachanov, knew how to squeeze the game in the hot moments to reverse compromised scenarios. On a winning machine. ” I’m glad I managed to win these battles in previous games. It will serve me the rest of the season on clay. Things are moving forward, little by little, but I hope he is ready for Paris. “His record, in his truncated season, is still very low (now five wins to three losses). There is still work for the man with 20 Grand Slam titles. In the face of Roland-Garros (May 22 – June 5), of which he is defending champion, he has a month left to regain a level worthy of his condition. It will try to gain momentum next week at the Masters 1000 in Madrid.

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