Novak Djokovic insists he will come back stronger than ever after Sam Querrey ended the world number one’s bid for tennis immortality in one of Wimbledon’s greatest upsets.
Djokovic arrived at the All England Club last week hoping to win a third successive Wimbledon title and move a step closer to winning the first calendar Grand Slam since 1969.
But instead Djokovic trudged off Court One, humiliated after the big-serving Querrey’s 7-6 (8/6), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) third round victory condemned the Serb to his earliest Wimbledon exit for eight years.
It was an astonishing result for the 29-year-old, who had won the last four majors and reached the quarterfinals of each of the previous 28 Grand Slams.
Yet rather than conduct a depressing post-mortem of his first defeat in 31 Grand Slam matches, Djokovic did his best to accentuate the positives of his incredible run, claiming he would be back to his best in time for the Olympics and then the US Open in August.
“I believe in positive things in life. I managed to win four Grand Slams in a row. I want to try to focus on that rather than on failure,” he said.
“Certainly, it’s not the first time that I’m losing in a Grand Slam match, or any match for that matter. I know what to do.”
“It’s disappointing, of course. Losing at a Grand Slam hurts more than any other tournament. There is no doubt about that.”
“I’m not happy to lose a match. But I’m going to move on from this hopefully as a stronger player.”
Djokovic faced a barrage of questions about his strangely lethargic effort against Querrey and he hinted he had been suffering from mental and physical fatigue following the French Open.