Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2022

‘Not a big deal’ – Federer’s former coach comes to the defense of Djokovic

Former coach of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, Paul Annacone believes that Novak Djokovic losing in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters is “not a big deal” and he just needs to get “the match reps up”. 

Novak Djokovic has had a turbulent 2022 season so far, with the Serbian being forced to miss the Australian Open as well as the Sunshine Double due to his vaccination status.

This week at the Monte Carlo Masters, the World number one was participating in just his second event of the year and his first event in 47 days. His lack of match fitness showed, as he suffered a shock three set loss to World number 46 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina losing 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1.

Following the defeat, the Grand Slam legend admitted that he “collapsed physically” and “ran out of gas” during the match.

Despite the result, Taylor Fritz’s current coach Paul Annacone downplayed Novak Djokovic’s loss, believing the Serb’s greatest concern is his fitness for the French Open. “I’m not real worried about his game, he just had to get the match reps up. I just think it’s not a big deal. He doesn’t want to lose but he wants to make sure he’s playing his best tennis at Roland Garros.”

As Annacone expected, Djokovic shared his main goal which is to improve his form ahead of his title defense at the French Open this year.

“Game-wise, physically I was just far from my best. I’m going to keep going and hopefully build my form for Roland Garros.”

Djokovic will have the chance to get some wins and match practice under his belt as early as next week in front of a home crowd at the Serbia Open, which is held in his own Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade.

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