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Djokovic eager to build on Monte-Carlo run: ‘There are positives’


Novak Djokovic was stopped short of making more history this week at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, but the Serbian leaves the Principality with enough positives to fuel him throughout the clay swing.

The No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings advanced to the semi-finals for the first time at the event since he won his second Monte-Carlo title in 2015. He was bidding for his first title of the 2024 season, a result that would have completed his third sweep of all nine ATP Masters 1000 crowns.

Instead, a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 defeat to Casper Ruud left him with an 11-4 record on the year.

“Of course I’m disappointed to lose a match like this. It was close one,” said Djokovic, who erased a break deficit midway through the third set. “Congratulations to Casper. He played really good, especially in the beginning of the first and third, as well. I had my chances, but the last game was not great. Unforced errors and just he was solid I think until the last shot and deserved to win.”

Despite the defeat and what he called an “up and down” performance, Djokovic was still able to look on the bright side.

“The positive thing is that I kind of managed to come back after losing the first set and really find the strength in the game. So there are positives to take away from this tournament, for sure, but of course disappointed with the loss.”

Looking at his season as a whole, Djokovic did not shy away from the fact that he remains in search of his first title of 2024. But his deep runs at the Australian Open and Monte-Carlo leave him hopeful that his best tennis is not far away.

“I’m used to a really high standard in terms of expectations of the results, so not having a title is, maybe comparing to the last 15 years, not a great season at all,” he said. “But I had semis of Australia, semis here. I only played three tournaments this year [also Indian Wells], so of course it’s normal to expect that you have some seasons where you don’t start well, and this is the one.

“Hopefully I can pick up, in terms of results, I can build from here, because I played some good tennis. Hopefully in the next tournaments I’ll be able to play even better.”

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