18-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic underlined that he wasn't satisfied with his level against Aslan Karatsev after losing to the Russian in the Belgrade semifinal. Djokovic, who was seeded at No. 1 in the Belgrade main draw, was hoping to make the final in front of his home fans but he fell short in his attempt as Karatsev won 7-5 4-6 6-4.
"I am not satisfied with my game, but I am with the way I fought. He played phenomenally and bravely on most of my chances, and it paid off," Djokovic said, per Sasa Ozmo. Karatsev wasn't backing down against Djokovic as he was playing aggressive and going for his shots against the 18-time Grand Slam champion.
"Hats off to Karatsev, he was bold and deserved to win," Djokovic told an online news conference, per Eurosport. "I will probably not be able to recollect all the memorable rallies in this match because I lost.
I am not happy with my performance, I put up a fight but he delivered great shots every time he needed to."
Djokovic believes he was unlucky at times
"I was unlucky at times, it all came down to one or two shots but I had too many ups and downs throughout the match," Djokovic added.
After a tough loss, world No. 1 Djokovic tried to draw positives and not to be in negative spirits. "These loses hurt a lot, but I am glad that my son enjoyed. I believe this was the first time he watched the whole match," Djokovic said.
Meanwhile, Karatsev -- who famously made the Australian Open semifinal as a qualifier earlier this season -- said this was the most important win of his career. "This is definitely the most important victory of my career.
At the Australian Open in Melbourne I felt like I was playing against a wall but this is a different surface and I was focused," Karatsev said.