Goran Ivanisevic believes Novak Djokovic is nearing a return to kind in time to defend his Roland Garros title regardless of an early exit from the Monte Carlo Masters.
The World No 1 was competing in simply his second match of the season on account of scheduling restrictions stemming from his Covid vaccination standing. Djokovic’s lack of match sharpness was evident as he crashed out of the match after struggling a surprise loss to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 within the second spherical.
It was Djokovic’s first match since a quarter-final defeat on the Dubai Tennis Championships in February, and simply his fourth aggressive conflict in 2022. The 34-year-old will now look to seek out kind forward of the Serbia Open subsequent week as clay-court season preparations ramp as much as the second Grand Slam of the season, the French Open.
Whereas the 20-time Grand Slam champion has performed a decreased schedule largely on account of issues surrounding his vaccination standing, his coach Ivanisevic believes Djokovic is getting higher and vowed the Serb will return to his finest to be ‘prepared’ for Roland Garros subsequent month. Chatting with ubitennis.net , Ivanisevic mentioned: “He wasn’t feeling effectively earlier than he got here right here. He was sick.
“Let’s say he’s not match 100 per cent to compete. Initially on this scenario. Three weeks in the past he was not allowed to play right here due to the Covid choice. Then France opened and he was allowed. And it’s troublesome mentally. You may play to the semi-finals, however you may’t put together the way in which you would want to. After which he obtained sick.
“To be trustworthy, I didn’t anticipate one thing spectacular from this match. However he’ll be going to the French Open in 5 – 6 weeks, he’s obtained a pair extra tournaments and he shall be prepared.”
Many followers anticipated Davidovich Fokina to trigger Djokovic issues because the World No 46 is taken into account a clay-court specialist. The 22-year-old excelled and proved to be a difficult take a look at for the Serb, and Ivanisevic steered Djokovic’s kind is much like the predicament he was in final 12 months earlier than he managed to show it round.
“This man (Djokovic) for me is the perfect participant within the historical past of tennis,” the coach mentioned. “He at all times finds a method to win, he at all times finds a method to get out of bother.
“One second he was shedding three love when he was speculated to be main three love. He had break factors and sport factors. He misplaced a number of vitality.
“However he’ll discover his means out of this in his fixed taking part in. He solely had three matches previous to this match. Clay isn’t straightforward. Final 12 months he began fairly badly right here, he misplaced to (Dan) Evans. Then in Belgrade he misplaced within the semis.
“He began to play effectively in Rome the place he obtained to the ultimate, then he received the French Open. So I’m not frightened. He simply wants some continuity. He must play an increasing number of matches and he’s going to seek out his means.”
Djokovic’s troublesome begin to 2022 is a stark distinction to how the World No 1 completed the 2021 season, when he got here inside one win – the US Open remaining loss to Daniil Medvedev – of changing into the primary man since Rod Laver in 1969 to safe a Calendar Grand Slam. The Serb even eyed a ‘Golden’ Slam achieved by profitable the Olympic gold medal in addition to all 4 main titles.
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Nevertheless, Djokovic misplaced to eventual champion Alexander Zverev in Tokyo final summer season earlier than he fell to Medvedev in Flushing Meadows.
Ivanisevic disagrees with the favored suggestion that Djokovic ought to have skipped the Olympics to concentrate on profitable the ultimate Grand Slam of the 12 months on the US Open, however he did admit the 34-year-old performed a troublesome schedule, singling out the combined doubles as an occasion he might have prevented.
It seems now the other has occurred whereby Djokovic has not performed sufficient matches and is out of rhythm. His coach Ivanisevic is able to guarantee he returns to kind in time to defend his 2021 French Open title.