Wed, 6 Jun, 2018
Novak Djokovic’s tense press conference: “Never seen Novak so p**sed off”
Tennis champion Novak Djokovic has made a shock exit from the French Open after losing in the quarterfinal to Italian Marco Cecchinato.
Djokovic, who is suffering both neck and leg problems, was shockingly beaten by his opponent Cecchinato, who has never won a Grand Slam match until last week.
Cecchinato is the first Italian man in 40 years to make the last four of a grand slam after a 6-3, 7-6, (7-4), 1-6, 7-6, (13-11) win over the former world number one.
After the match, Djokovic went straight into the media room for a brief press conference where he delivered short Bernard Tomic-style answers.
“A hard one to swallow,” a glum Djokovic said, revealing that he might not play during the upcoming grass court season.
“I don't know if I'm going to play on grass,” he said.
“I don't want to think about anything now.”
According to tennis writer Carole Bouchard, Djokovic appeared “super angry” during the interview.
She tweeted: “Djokovic rushed to press but not in main room. Settled in room 2: chaos followed. He's obviously dejected, super angry and disappointed. Said he missed too many chances. Added that he wasn't sure if he'd be playing on grass at all. P**sed off is an understatement for his mood.”
When asked if he had issues going into match or if there were things that crept up, Djokovic replied: “Just couple of things, but nothing major, really. I don't want to talk about that.”
Djokovic was asked if he could summarise how difficult it is to come back to tennis on the level he wants. The tennis star replied: “It is difficult. Many things in life are difficult.”
When asked if he could articulate further, he said: “I’m not. I’m sorry, I’m not.”
Djokovic was also asked about the warm embrace he showed his opponent at the end of the match.
Q: Novak, everyone has commented, the good grace you showed, warm embrace at the end. How hard is it to accept defeat in such good grace in the same manner as you can accept victory?
Djokovic: Well, it's never been hard for me to congratulate and hug an opponent that we just shared a great moment on the court. And the one that won deserved to win the match, and that was Marco today. I know him well. He's a great guy. He deserved it. And that's something everybody should do.
On the other hand, when you walk off the court, of course, it's a hard one to swallow.
Q: Do you think it's the most painful defeat in your career?
Q: What did you miss the most on the court today, in your opinion?
Djokovic: I don't know. Just some moments. Luck, as well.
Q: What's your process now with regrouping after this defeat? How do you get your mindset going forward?
Djokovic: I don't know. I'm just not thinking about tennis at the moment.
After beating the Serbian tennis star, Cecchinato was told in an on-court interview that he wasn’t dreaming.
He replied, “Are you sure?”
Later reflecting on the match, he said, “I had a lot of courage, especially toward the end of the tie-breaker,” Cecchinato said. “I was cool. Clear-headed. My heart was beating 1,000 mph. It wasn’t easy. My hand was even shaking a little.”
On Friday, Cecchinato will face Austrian Dominic Thiem.