"It's almost disturbing to see him in this state": Novak Djokovic's physical struggles 'surprising' says Justine Henin

Sunday, 14 April 2024 at 18:13
Novak Djokovic was dumped out of the Monte-Carlo Masters at the semi-final stage in the latest defeat which draws questions surrounding the state of the World No.1. Tennis great Justine Henin called it 'surprising' and 'disturbing' after he lost out to Casper Ruud in Monaco.
Djokovic reached the semi-finals of the Monte-Carlo Masters for the first time since 2015 when he won the second of his two titles at the tournament. He has since struggled at the event. But what was noted more than anything was his physical issues as he again looked well short of his previous fitness levels.
“It’s always a little surprising, almost disturbing, to see him in this state, but he needs this volume,” said Henin as per Eurosport.
“He has had very little pace since the start of the year and on this surface, [he] will draw a lot more from his reserves, the rallies are longer. And apparently, with the temperature associated with the surface, that’s a lot for players to manage. He is not at his best level but he is winning matches, gaining confidence. And we saw that this (reaching the semi-finals) really gave him a smile again.”
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Novak Djokovic has lost out at Indian Wells, Australia and now Monte-Carlo this season in shock losses.
But also it was a poor display that Djokovic himself lamented saying he is having his worst run in 15 years. “I’m used to [a] really high standard in terms of expectations of the results, so not having a title is, maybe comparing to the last 15 years, not a great season at all,” the Serbian said. "But I had semis of Australia, semis here. I only played three tournaments this year, so of course it’s normal to expect that you have some seasons where you don’t start well, and this is the one.
“Hopefully I can pick up, in terms of results, I can build from here, because, I played some good tennis. Hopefully in the next tournaments I’ll be able to play even better.”

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