Novak Djokovic

‘I put up a fight but he deserved to win,’ says Novak Djokovic after Aslan Karatsev defeat

Aslan Karatsev deserved to beat Novak Djokovic in Belgrade, the world number one has admitted after their superb match on Saturday.

Karatsev and Djokovic played out an three-and-a-half hour epic at the Serbia Open, with the Russian saving 23 break points before wrapping up a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 win.

It was a second surprise defeat in two weeks for Djokovic, who also lost to Dan Evans in Monte-Carlo.

However, he says that while he is not happy with his performance, he is also trying to not overreact.

“Hats off to Karatsev, he was bold and deserved to win,” Djokovic told an online news conference.

“I will probably not be able to recollect all the memorable rallies in this match because I lost.

“I am not happy with my performance, I put up a fight but he delivered great shots every time he needed to.

“I was unlucky at times, it all came down to one or two shots but I had too many ups and downs throughout the match.”