French Open 2017: Novak Djokovic admits he is nowhere close to his best, hints at taking a break

Paris: Novak Djokovic insisted on Wednesday that he still has the hunger to regain his status as the best player in the world, but did not rule out taking a break from the sport.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts during his tennis match against Austria's Dominic Thiem at the Roland Garros 2017 French Open on June 7, 2017 in Paris. AFP

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts during his tennis match against Austria's Dominic Thiem at the Roland Garros 2017 French Open on June 7, 2017 in Paris. AFP

The 30-year-old Serb crashed out of the French Open where he was the defending champion in a stunning 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 quarter-final loss to Dominic Thiem.

Djokovic hinted he may step back from the sport to regroup even with Wimbledon fast approaching.

"Trust me, I'm thinking about many things, especially in the last couple months," he said.

"At the same time, I have responsibility to the game itself, towards others. We'll see. Obviously it's not an easy decision to make, but I will see how I feel after Roland Garros and then decide what to do next."

The defeat was Djokovic's first straight-sets loss at a major in four years and comes just 12 months after he completed the career Grand Slam in Paris.

He then also held all four majors and became the first man to break the $100 million prize money barrier.

Wednesday saw him suffer a first 6-0 'bagel' at a Slam since the 2005 US Open while the defeat will see him slip out of the world's top two for the first time in six years.

"All the top players go through this. I have to get through it and learn the lessons and come back stronger. It's a big challenge but I am up for it," said Djokovic.

"I always expect a lot from myself. I am not playing anywhere close to my best and I know that.

"But I am trying to work on things. It's a whole new situation that I am facing by not winning any big tournaments in the last seven or eight months."

Since Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in the Roland Garros final last year, he suffered a third round loss at Wimbledon.

He hinted at issues in his private life at the time before a runners-up spot at the US Open suggested the All England Club defeat was just a temporary blip.

However, a shock second round loss at the Australian Open to world number 117 Denis Istomin illustrated all the old failings.


Updated Date: Jun 07, 2017 19:55 PM

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