Novak Djokovic’s title defense in Dubai unraveled yesterday at the racquet of Roger Federer who swept away the Serb 36, 63, 62 in the semifinals.
Djokovic, who ended 2014 on a 24-match win streak, has now lost before the final in both events he’s played this year. But the Serb says it’s no time to panic.
“I didn’t have many matches this year, and you could see that on the court,” Djokovic said Friday. “I still lack that consistency in my movement in the matches. Look, I lost to Roger. That’s not a bad loss. I know I’m not fully satisfied with my game. I’m going to work on it and try to get better next one.
“When you lose against a better player, you shake hands and that’s it. You move on and try to take the best out of it. Right now, as I said, I know what I need to work on. I’m going to try to get as much match play and the practice, also, these situations. Hopefully I can do well in USA.”
Djokovic had also beaten Federer three straight times, but the 32-year-old outmatched the World No. 2.
“Even though I was better player and I felt I was in control for the first hour or so,” Djokovic said. “It appears that it’s not enough, because a few points can really decide the winner and can change, so that’s what happened. He mentally felt more comfortable, was coming to the net. The other side, me, I backed up, and that resulted with the loss.”
And Djokovic again reminded the press not to jump on new coach Boris Becker. It’s still early he says.
“I think people are expecting a little bit too much, expecting me to play with my left hand, I don’t know,” he joked. “Everybody has been asking me every day what have you been improving. We are working on certain details in my game, but it’s nothing significant that I’m going to change. I’m not going to play serve and volley. But we are working on positioning of the court. And as I repeated a hundred times from the beginning of the year, it’s just the beginning of the year, so it takes a little bit of time for us to get to know each other and really feel the benefits of our partnership.”
Djokovic and Andy Murray, a semifinal loser last night in Acapulco, will head to NYC for a Monday exhibition before going to Indian Wells where they will play next weekend.
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