Novak Djokovic went straight from the court to the interview room after his 7-6 4-6 6-1 loss to Japan’s Taro Daniel at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Sunday. Facing repeated questions about his health and fitness, Djokovic insisted on giving full credit to his 109th ranked opponent. “He’s known round the tour for being a great fighter,” a subdued Djokovic said.
I haven’t been playing that well in practice, either. I wasn’t supposed to be here, surgery was only five or six weeks ago Novak Djokovic
“I just didn’t feel good at all. It was just one of those days when I couldn’t find any rhythm. I made inexplicable, uncharacteristic errors.”
For a man whose impregnable bubble of self-belief has enabled him to fight his way out of trouble many times during an illustrious career, these were revealing comments. “I haven’t been playing that well in practice, either,” he said. “I wasn’t supposed to be here, surgery was only five or six weeks ago.”
As for his immediate future, Djokovic said “that will be a matter for discussion with my team.” As well as his injury problems, Novak has also been suffering with a heavy cold this week. As he made his way out of the interview room he paused to pick up a tissue.