Novak Djokovic fitness concerns

‘I collapsed physically’ – Novak Djokovic admits fitness concerns after Monte-Carlo defeat

Novak Djokovic claimed he ‘collapsed physically’ during his 3-6, 7-6, 1-6 defeat to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Monte-Carlo.

Djokovic was playing what was just his fourth match of the year so far after his calendar was severely disrupted by issues arising from his decision not to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The draw was not kind to him in Monte-Carlo, with impressive clay specialist Davidovic-Fokina his first opponent, and it certainly proved a tough test for the world number one.

Afterwards, he admitted that he found it very tough physically, and it’s something that is causing him concern.

“Physically I completely collapsed,” Djokovic said. “I couldn’t move any more. I didn’t like the way I felt in the end. I need to talk with my team.

“He was the better player. I was hanging on the ropes the entire match. I just ran out of gas completely.

“If you can’t stay in the rally, not feeling your legs on the clay, it’s mission impossible.

“I always believed that I could come back and win the match, and I stayed there even though a lot of things were against me in terms of how I felt on the court. Game-wise, physically I was just far from my best.”

However, Novak Djokovic also appeared far from dejected, and says it is not unusual for him to take a little time to get up to speed during clay season.

“I knew a few days ago when I spoke to you that it’s going to take some time for me to really feel my best on the clay.

“That’s historically always been the case. [I have] never played very well in the opening tournaments of the clay season.

“But it’s okay. Obviously it is what it is. I have to accept the defeat and keep working.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.