Washington, March 24 (IANS) Former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic tried to sound an optimistic note after suffering a shock 3-6, 4-6 defeat to France’s Benoit Paire in the second round of the Miami Open tennis tournament.
“I wouldn’t go out on the court if I didn’t believe I can win a tennis match. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t trying,” said a disappointed Djokovic after the match on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“I love this sport. There’s a lot of people that support me, especially here. I thank them for their great support. Unfortunately I’m not at the level they would like to see me at and I would like to see myself at. But it is what it is.
“Life goes on,” he added.
Djokovic only battled for one hour before losing the match in straight sets, dropping serve four times and striking some poor groundstrokes at baseline.
Djokovic has seemingly always found a way to play great tennis, but since suffering an elbow injury that kept the Serbian out for the final six months of last season, the 30-year-old has struggled to find that great tennis this season.
“I mean, I’m trying, but it’s not working. I’m not feeling great when I’m playing this way. I want to be able to play as well as I want to play. Just it’s impossible at the moment.
“The circumstances that I was in the last two years were very challenging. But I’m not the only one that goes through that. There are tougher injuries that players go through. I don’t want to sit here and whine about my last couple of years,” said Djokovic, who suffered his third consecutive loss.
“I’m just in general trying everything I can. It is what it is. I’m not at the level that I used to be,” Djokovic added.
“I’m aware of that. I just have to obviously believe in myself and hopefully it will come.”