Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic acknowledged that losing at home wasn't easy but he showed his class and gave credit to Aslan Karatsev for the performance he delivered in the Belgrade semifinal. Karatsev, who made the Australian Open semifinal as a qualifier in February before losing to Djokovic, once again faced Djokovic but this time the outcome was different as he beat the Serb 7-5 4-6 6-4.
"You never like losing at home," Djokovic told reporters, per Tennis Now. "That's for sure. It's painful, it's disappointing, I don't feel so great now, but at the same time I have to congratulate Karatsev, who played very bravely, whenever he needed to come up with his best shots, he did.
Congrats to him - awesome performance from his side." Djokovic was struggling to find his rhythm and coninuity on the court and Karatsev made him pay for his bad day at the office. From my side I played, again, on a quite low level in my opinion,” Djokovic said.
"Some flashes of good quality tennis, I was fighting," Djokovic said "That's a positive. I was fighting all the way."
Djokovic's main focus remains the French Open
Djokovic, who claimed his 18th Grand Slam title this past February at the Australian Open, collected his lone French Open title in 2016 after beating Andy Murray in the final.
“Roland-Garros still stays the main focus for me,” Djokovic said. “I need to improve. I need to play better in order to have a chance for the Roland-Garros trophy I need to play much better than I did today, or in Monte-Carlo, so, yes, there is much work ahead of me, and hopefully it can be beneficial when it matters most in Paris.
“I will hopefully play in four or five weeks again. That’s the plan, so let’s see if that’s going to happen, but Roland-Garros is the goal, obviously that’s where I want to play my best”.