After losing to Dan Evans at the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this month, current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic suffered another shocking loss against Russian tennis player Aslan Karatsev in the semifinals of the Serbia Open 2021. The Serb lost 5-7,6-4,4-6 in a match where he missed many chances to break and committed a lot of unforced errors.
However, despite the shocking loss Djokovic recently opened up on accepting defeats gracefully and appreciating his opponent even during a stage when he is angry with himself. This was his first defeat at home since 2005 and this raises an alarm for him as he isn’t performing that well on clay at the moment.
Speaking to the reporters after his defeat against Karatsev, Djokovic revealed how he has nurtured himself to take defeats gracefully. “Well, I’m upset with myself, but I cannot be upset with my opponent – he was just better. That’s how I’ve been brought up and that’s how I feel is right to kind of think about this kind of act at the end of the match: you just shake hands, you congratulate your opponent for winning against you,” the Serb said.
The Serb also spoke regarding the match and felt that Karatsev who was his opponent on the night was exceptional and played with a lot of courage to save so many breakpoint opportunities. He then also had the courage to turn it in his favour.
“…that’s why I gave him a thumbs-up – because I felt he deserved to win,” Djokovic added.
The World No. 1 feels that both players gave their all and one just came out to be the better player than the other on a particular outing. The Serb assures that there is never any bad blood between his opponents and he always tends to acknowledge the efforts put in by his opponents.
“Once the final point is done…there’s obviously never bad blood. We’re rivals on the court but I don’t hate anybody,” the World No.1 said.
While Djokovic reflects back on areas he can improve on from the game he never shies away from giving his opponent their due credit which they deserve to outfox him.
“I have been upset with myself and questioned myself why I lost the match, but…whoever beats me deserves credit and I give him that,” he signed off.