Chris Evert feels Novak Djokovic is making progress
Tennis legend Chris Evert believes Novak Djokovic is on the right path despite his loss to Andrey Rublev in the final of the Serbia Open on Sunday.
The World No. 1 reached his first final of the season in his home tournament in Belgrade after grinding out wins against Laslo Djere, Miomir Kecmanovic and Karen Khachanov. However, he lost to Andrey Rublev in three sets in the title clash.
The Russian took the opening set 6-2 but Djokovic fought back to take the second in a tie-break. But he faded away physically in the third set and was served up a bagel by Rublev, who captured his third title of the season.
During the match, Evert said that regardless of the outcome, Djokovic should be happy with the progress he has made progress over the last week.
“No matter what happens today and Novak Djokovic is not near his best yet, but he’s made progress and dug out a lot of matches; this has to be encouraging,” Evert wrote on Twitter.
“Things are progressing slowly but surely” – Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic hopes to be ready by Roland Garros
Speaking after his loss to Rublev in the final of the Serbia Open, Novak Djokovic appeared to echo Evert’s sentiments. The Serb admitted that things are looking up for him and that he hopes to be ready in time for Roland Garros. He also claimed that a previous illness potentially caused him to run out of steam in the deciding set.
“Things are progressing slowly but surely, Paris is the big goal and hopefully by Paris I’ll be ready,” Djokovic said. “I apologise because of the way the third set unfolded. It’s an individual sport, when something fails, the engine can’t work. It’s a bit worrisome, I can only assume it’s because of the illness that hit me a few weeks ago. But I have to look at the positives, I’ve won three matches from a set down.”
Djokovic also said that winning three hard-fought matches would hold him in good stead for the rest of the clay season.
“I have to look at the positives, playing the final in front of my home crowd, it was unfortunate that in the third set I ran out of gas and couldn’t deliver more of a fight. After four three-set battles I can say that I am tired but also pleased that I managed to win the matches prior to this one. I think that will serve me for the continuation of the clay court season,” he added.
Djokovic will now shift his focus to the Madrid Open.