Novak Djokovic wants to ‘move on’ from Covid vaccine drama after ‘five challenging months’

Novak Djokovic talks about his stance on Covid vaccinations

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Novak Djokovic is desperate to put the past few months behind him as he bids to improve his form following his lack of game time amid his Covid vaccine stance. The Serbian has endured a challenging period this year, which was exacerbated following an early exit from the Monte Carlo Masters.

On Tuesday, the world No 1 succumbed to a 6-3 6-7 6-1 defeat to Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who broke the 20-time grand slam champion’s serve nine times, the most anyone has managed in a best-of-three set match. The world No 1 46 produced a fine display to register the biggest win of his career and only his second victory over a top 10 player.

After two months away from the game, with his vaccine stance meaning he has had to sit out tournaments, Djokovic shared his desire to get back on the court and overcome the obstacles in his way. “The last four, five months have been really challenging for me mentally and emotionally, but here I am and I try to leave all that behind and move on,” he said.

After his defeat, the two-time Monte Carlo Masters champion felt he was always playing catch-up and struggled physically throughout the near three-hour encounter. “I was hanging on the ropes the entire match. I was really chasing the result constantly,” he shared post-match.

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“I always believed that I could come back and win the match, and I stayed there even though a lot of things were against me in terms of how I felt on the court. Game-wise, physically I was just far from my best. So of course in those types of conditions and circumstances, then you have to really work two times more than you normally would.

“And again, I played a clay-court specialist. He had a match already on centre court a few days ago. I expected this match to be [a] really tough match, [a] physical battle, and that’s what it was.

“Unfortunately I’m on the shorter end of the stick, and my week ends here.” Djokovic won just 45% of his service points and struggled to acclimatise to the windy conditions.

The tennis legend will be in action next week on home soil at the Serbia Open in Belgrade and will hope to produce a better showing in front of his adoring fans. “Obviously it is what it is. I have to accept the defeat and keep working,” he added.

“I’m going to look with my team into reasons why that was the case and go back to the drawing board. Hopefully next week will be better in Belgrade.”


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