Novak Djokovic was upset by Tommy Haas in the finals of Sunday’s Gerry Weber Open, a Wimbledon tune-up event in Halle. Novak has yet to win a grass court singles title in his career, though he was also a runner up last year – to Rafael Nadal at the Queen’s Club tournament in London.
But it’s a more recent loss to Nadal – in Spain, on clay – that Nole claims is weighing on his mind as he approaches Wimbledon. A month and a court surface have passed and Novak’s still thinking about those three match points he failed to convert against Rafa in the Madrid semifinal.
Here’s what Djokovic told reporters after losing in Halle:
Q: Is it possible that the semi-final in Madrid is still in your mind a little bit because you haven’t played your best tennis since then?
DJOKOVIC: Probably. That match has been really emotionally exhausting me. I think I was really empty after that match emotionswise and mentally. I’m still trying to get back and recover. But playing finals here is a good achievement, coming back from five match points down in second round and playing two quite good matches in quarter finals and semi finals. You always have to look on the bright side. Wimbledon is coming up and I hope I can be ready.
But it doesn’t sound like Djokovic is looking on the bright side:
Q: Having played five matches here – you talked about the difficulties of adjusting to grass – do you think you will go to Wimbledon feeling that you are one of the top four, five favourites?
DJOKOVIC: I don’t know. I’m not playing on my top level. I will try to get ready for Wimbledon. I haven’t done a great job there last year. I lost second round. So, I wouldn’t rate myself as a favourite for that tournament.
Is Novak depressed? Coy? Realistic? What do you think the future holds for him at Wimbledon?
Quotes via Gerry Weber Open website.