Novak Djokovic Suffers Worst Loss At French Open, Considers Taking A Break
by Tom Gainey | June 7th, 2017, 10:22 am
  • 29 Comments

Defending champion Novak Djokovic came in as the favorite today to keep his record perfect against the rising Dominic Thiem in the French Open quarterfinals today.

But after a tough first set loss to the Austrian in a tiebreak, Djokovic was resigned to losing. And lose he did 76, 63, 60. The nine total games were the fewest he’s ever won at the French Open. And adding insult he was fed his first bagel at Roland Garros and his first at a Grand Slam since 2005.

“It’s hard to comment the third set,” Djokovic said. “Obviously, nothing was going my way and everything his way. Just pretty bad set.

“All in all, it was decided I think in the first set. I tried. I lost that crucial break in the beginning of the second, and he started serving better backing it up with the first shot. He deserved to win. He was definitely the better player on the court today.

“It’s unfortunate to finish Roland Garros the way I have done today. I obviously always expect a lot from myself, but it’s a fact that I’m not playing close to my best, and I know that.”

One year agp the Serb left France on top of the world, holding all four Grand Slams. Now, he leaves without a big title in 12 months. And not even he knows what his future plans are.

“Trust me, I’m thinking about many things,” Djokovic said of taking a break. “Especially in the last couple months. I’m just trying to sense what’s the best thing for me now.

“We’ll see. Obviously it’s not an easy decision to make, but I will see how I feel, anyway, after Roland Garros and then decide what to do next.”


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29 Comments for Novak Djokovic Suffers Worst Loss At French Open, Considers Taking A Break

Tennis Vagabond Says:

An historic match. Last year, Thiem made the semis, but it didn’t quite feel like this. He beat Fed twice, but not at a Slam. Maybe its just this being his second big streak, it feels like its for good.

I think this is the biggest star emergence we’ve seen in a long time. Probably bigger than Nishikori, Raonic and Dmitrov. Probably the biggest since Del Potro. That’s 8 years.

Novak’s presser was sad, in seeing him seem so down on himself, but he was honest, and he’s not defeated yet.

I do think he’ll be back.
Novak at his A game has an impenetrable, flawless baseline defense, and variety when he needs it. His A+ game includes the impenetrable baseline play with surprising blitzkrieg offence.
Right now, he’s not even close to the A game, let alone A+. He is making more errors than he has since pre-2011, at least. Don’t know if this is a lack-of-practice thing or mental. He’s just not Novak when he’s making this many errors.

As for Thiem. Ah! Amazing. There is a lot of Rafa in his game, in that ability to play such strong tennis from so far behind the baseline, using incredible topspin and height over the net. His speed and footwork is almost Rafa-esque and looks similar, they have similarly powerful lower bodies.But the variety he uses, that 1-handed backhand, the tactics, the flat kill shots- those are all his own.

I could definitely get into watching this kid. Feel guilty to go against La Decima, but I’ll be rooting for THiem. And, Travis, I’ll still be happy for Rafa if he wins.


skeezer Says:

Taking a break is the best thing he can do imo.
When you get a beatdown by a guy who was outside the top 10 just a year ago, time to re think what you’re doing. Still believe he turned off the faucet after he won those 4 Slams and decided to enjoy the other part of his life, which, no one should blame him for. It’s not Pepe, or diet, or whatever else you want to blame. It’s inner desire for Championships, and that drives every other thing.

Agree TV Thiem is fun to watch. The OHBH is alive and well!


lylenubbins Says:

Nice Post, TV.


Daniel Says:

Thiem is one of the few, if not the only one who can play Nadal so far ebhind and be competitive.

He can plays heavy top spin and falt power strokes to finish the points. He also imrpoved his movment, shot selection and now is a established top ten.

No fluke he got 2 wins on clay versus Nadal. I believe their match will be tougher than some may think. On lcay Nadal still has a attackable servem, but his bread and butter is taht he breaks everybody almsot half the time they serve. If Thiem is on a good day and holidng his serve (as he has been doing all tourney) he has a legit shot.

60-405 to Nadal me thinks!.


Daniel Says:

Break is good but he should wait at least after USO, just 3 more months. His ranking is dropping already,I have my concerns with breaks, not everyone can retunr great after it.

To me nothing better than resume old glory by winning. And you can only win by playing.


RZ Says:

I’ve been saying for almost the last year that Novak should take a break. I doubt he’s done, but my armchair-psychologist analysis is that he needs to miss tennis a bit in order to enjoy it again and get his motivation back.


Truth Says:

He’s done. Insane deluded fanboy Djoker can’t play tennis.
Agassi, sorry about the humiliation. Say bye before you break down too.

Thiem isn’t even close to slam winning level, but Djoker puppet wants to say he’s satisfied with ending his career now, with losing records to everyone and an inability to break serve in tiebreaks too.

He turned into a rabid animal that tried to garner praise for being a human being on & off court. Being a legendary tennis player…what is that?
Disgracing his legacy. He’s cooked and over forever…
He’s too confused to come back.


kriket Says:

So heartbreaking this loss, I couldn’t even watch the match.

One thing though. Novak is not considering a pause, that was just a construction, the reporter put words in his mouth. He clearly stated in his interview to Serbian reporter that he’s not considering a time-off courts. He has obligations to his sponsors, he’s not injured, he doesn’t have a reason to take a break.

It’s true that Agassi should’ve been there today. Novak shouldn’t have hired a coach who isn’t prepared to do the coaching for whatever reason. It could’ve made a difference if he was there for support rather than 1000s miles away.


Old School Says:

We’ve seen issues with ND under wind conditions. He does not adjust to ambient changes. Toss is affected by wind, serve falters. Two double faults in critical 1st set. Did same thing under stiffer breeze at Flushing Few years ago. Light/dark transition in final 2 weeks ago vs Sasha. Even when he was number 1 his mindset had a certain fragility. He once was an incredible player, his run was magnificent. Sadly don’t think we’ll ever see that again.


Old School Says:

We’ve seen issues with ND under wind conditions. He does not adjust to ambient changes. Toss is affected by wind, serve falters. Two double faults in critical 1st set. Did same thing under stiffer breeze at Flushing Few years ago. Light/dark transition in final 2 weeks ago vs Sasha. Even when he was number 1 his mindset had a certain fragility. He once was an incredible player, his run was magnificent. Sadly don’t think we’ll ever see that again.


Van Persie Says:

Nole will be back. Excepting this ugly loss, he did better at this FO then expected.
Understand him a bit. Not tennis is the problem, but the pressure, stress, obligations from last years. He will recover.

See also Andy did well today.


Danica Says:

Congrats to Thiem. I tried watching the match but fell asleep as it was quite late (early morn) my time.

I am not sure why this is considered a big upset. I don’t feel that way. Rafa and Dominic were the most pwerful clay players this year and Nole didn’t exactly deliver.

He can’t take any meaningful time off as he just signed a huge sponsorship deal with Lacoste. As he himself stated, he has obligations.

I think we have great semis ahead of us. Even if Rafa is absolute favorite, you never know. Wouldn’t it be something to have a Thiem-Murray final?


Van Persie Says:

WB,

If you read this. My father is teasing me lately by telling me: “Look, Djokovic plays like Halep now”


Miles Says:

Thiem has learnt from hie recent defeat – kudos to him for adapting. Despite the new sponsorship, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Djokovic retire this year.


Miles Says:

Thiem has learnt from his recent defeat – kudos to him for adapting. Despite the new sponsorship, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Djokovic retire this year.


Van Persie Says:

Miles,

Regarding Thiem: looks like his coach did not make a mistake by pushing him to have a heavy schedule. We see now the results.

To Nole: he will not retire.


Miles Says:

Van Persie – I would say it’s 50:50 whether Djokovic retires this year.

I didn’t think Thiem had the nous to adapt – but he appears to be learning. Longer term, I still rate Zverev and Kyrgios more highly.

I’ll be surprised if he beats Nadal.


chrisford1 Says:

TV – Yes, yes, yes, more yes! And yes on top of that!
Great post.


Daniel Says:

He just made a contract with Lacoste recently and I bet it is more than 1 year. He won´t retire any time soon.


Truth Says:

Adapt what?
Thiem didn’t need to do much when the stone across the net had no personality left.
Djoker didn’t care. He admits he cares more about money and sponsors.
He wants to be a fraud and laughingstock and he succeeds in that regard.


veloce Says:

Skeezer, it’s the Pepe effect… that crazy nutcase put all that “love and Peace” shit inside Novak to the point he took the killer instint out of him. All Novak should be thinking when he steps in the court is “Im gonna tear you to pieces, to the point you wish you never been born!, punk!”. That’s it. “Pleace and Love”?? leave that to the airport budhists… for God’s sake…


Wog Boy Says:

@veloce,
Agree, his tennis downhill started with his spiritual experimenting and stoping eating meat for “ethical reasons” (his words), but the point is that he doesn’t look happier and in the better place now than year or so ago when he had those “barbarian” habits, on the contrary he looks completely lost in time and space, his eyes look so oily and without any debt and sharpness, like he is stoned which he is, with that Pepe/Marko BS.


Wog Boy Says:

VP,
Your father has a good eye, believe it or not I was thinking the same watching Simona last night before Svitolina promptly choked and let Halep win.


chrisford1 Says:

First day since I started following Novak in 2007 I can say I am honestly disgusted with him.
Its as if for the last year he has shrunk from greatness in the making, to being a pathetic Pepe Le Peau hugging, controlling wife pleasing, fish and egg excepted vegan. At 155 lbs US and mentally and physically weak, retire or take a 6 month break, then assess if he is serious about coming back.
Not serious? Then leave tennis to be a celeb PETA spokesman even if Serbs will despise him for it.


Van Persie Says:

WB,

I hope that Halep manages to get a GS with Cahill, then she will be more confident and passes Cahill to Djoko.
Personally, I think Djoko is uncoucheable this year. I said at the beginning of this year, that Nole might play very poorly this year and come back stronger in 2018.
Cahill would have the patience and I think he likes this challenges to help players get stronger mentally. He could be the right coach for Djoko.


Van Persie Says:

“First day since I started following Novak in 2007 I can say I am honestly disgusted with him.”

CF1,

Been there after WTF 2016 until the beginning of this FO.


Miles Says:

Truth – he adapted by not standing 10 metres behind the baseline!


Armend Says:

Thiem deserves a lot of praise, but you cannot gauge much from the match with ND. The match he’s going to play with Nadal will be a better indicator as to whether he would have gotten through if ND played average by his standard. But a great win for him anyway, especially considering his H2H.


veloce Says:

Wog Boy, isnt that right? he looks like zoned-out, unsure. Plain weird. I have a theory: I think he started to unravel after facing those hard hitting guys, realizing that his defense and athleticism are no longer enough to match the power that has arrived in the scene within the last 2 years, starting with Wawrinka, you can mingle DelPo in there (a weakened Delpo at that, with a band-aid shot of a backhand). And it’s only getting worse, with the likes of Thiem, Kirgyios, Zverev’s and others coming down the pipe. These young guys have a chip on their shoulder and daring the top-dogs to knock it off…

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