Novak Djokovic suffered his earliest loss of the 2013 season yesterday at the hands of new star Grigor Dimitrov 76, 67, 63 at the Mutua Madrid Masters.
The world No. 1 appeared to be in excellent spirits after playing one his best clay matches in a Monte Carlo win over Rafael Nadal. But after the shock loss to Dimitrov yesterday, Djokovic admitted that he was under prepared for the match because of further recover for his right ankle which he twisted again yesterday.
“I didn’t prepare myself so good,” Djokovic said Tuesday. “But, look, you know, I’m not trying to find any excuses for the loss. I tried to do my best in this moment, and maybe my best is not like it was in Monte‑Carlo.
“For 12 days after Monte Carlo I haven’t touched the racquet,” he added. “I didn’t know up to Saturday if I’m going to come here or not because of the ankle. But in the end, you know, I made the decision to come because I like to play in this tournament. You know, maybe could have been different; maybe not. Now it’s too late to think about what I decided.
“I thought it was the right decision because, luckily for me, nothing really happened when I twisted the ankle during the match. It was a slight moment. I had good protection on my ankle. So right now that is the only positive thing that I look into, is that I didn’t injury my ankle worse before Rome and Paris.”
Djokovic credit the 21-year-old Dimitrov for some great tennis. The Bulgarian was dealing with cramps in the middle of the match but fought through it.
“He was the better player,” Djokovic said. “The better player won the match, no question about it. You know, I could have played better. You know, I had my chances. I was fighting until the end, so that’s a positive thing. I always try to give my best in these moments, and he was the better player. I congratulate him. He played great tennis and he deserved to win.”
Djokovic also took some exception with the rowdy Spanish crowd who continued to whistle and boo the former champion especially while Dimitrov was cramping.
“In the first set, every single close call that I went to look at the ball and the chair umpire comes to see, I got whistled,” he said. “I don’t see any reason for that. I didn’t do anything bad. When I see the ball, it’s good, I clear the mark. I give him a point. I never did anything opposite in my life. I’m honest. If I see the ball in, I play the ball; if it’s close, I call the chair umpire. I don’t understand why they turn against me, for what reason, but it is what it is. I’m a professional, and it’s not the first time I’m experiencing that.
“For the crowd, they picked him as the favorite player to support, so that’s all I can say.”
Djokovic will lick his wounds and head to Rome next for his final prep before the French Open.
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