A routine win turned into a nightmare today for Novak Djokovic. Playing Tomas Berdych, a player he owned 13-1 in their head-to-head, Djokovic led 62, 52 before losing five straight games and eventually the match 26, 75, 64. Djokovic now enters the most important event of the year with the bitter taste of this collapse and aside from Monte Carlo, very poor results since February.
Afterward, Djokovic, who blamed the choke on a lapse in concentration serving at 53, still says he’s playing well.
“I am playing well and I shouldn’t allow these ups and downs in the match especially with Paris coming up,” Djokovic said. “But I have some time to prepare and I am disappointed as I was playing really well up to 62 52 but its a sport and he is a top 10 player and he proved that today.
It is not the result I was hoping for but I am positive and the days go by and I will take some time off and get ready for Paris which is the most important event in the year for me,” he added. “I know I can play well on clay so I shouldn’t allow myself to have these drops and let’s hope it wont happen for the Roland Garros.”
A win in Paris would give Djokovic the coveted career Slam. And with his preparations now completed, the pressure shifts to Roland Garros which will make or break his season.
“I can go all the way and it’s a long tournament,” he said. “Two weeks long but I don’t want to make predictions and I need to get ready and hopefully I’ll make it.”
The Serb who began the year winning his first 17 matches, is 11-4 in his last 15.
With Rafael Nadal also winning today over David Ferrer, Djokovic will go into Roland Garros behind Rafa in 2013 points. Djokovic, though, will still be the top seed when the tournament begins a week from Sunday.
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