"Many things in life are difficult... I don't know what I am going to do" - When Novak Djokovic was distraught after shock French Open loss

Novak Djokovic has won the French Open thrice
Novak Djokovic has won the French Open thrice

Novak Djokovic once opened up about how distraught he was after his shocking 2018 French Open loss. He was aiming to win his second title at the tournament and the double-career Grand Slam, but ultimately couldn't.

Djokovic started his journey at Roland Garros that year with a convincing straight-set victory over Rogerio Dutra da Silva, followed by a win against Spain's Jaume Munar. The Serb then secured back-to-back victories over two more Spaniards in the next rounds: Roberto Bautista Agut and Fernando Verdasco.

Djokovic's smooth sailing came to an end in the quarterfinals, where Marco Cecchinato eliminated him after a four-set battle. This served as another blow to the No. 20 seed's already elbow injury-halted season.

Following his defeat to Cecchinato, Novak Djokovic spoke to the media and shared that regaining his desired form was "difficult." When asked if and when he was going to start his grasscourt season, he indicated uncertainty about his plans.

"It is difficult. Many things in life are difficult," Djokovic said. "I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do. I just came from the court. Sorry, guys, I can't give you that answer."

The 36-year-old explained that his disappointment stemmed from believing he had a great buildup before coming to the Paris Major:

"Any defeat is difficult in the Grand Slams, especially the one that, you know, came from months of buildup. And I thought I had a great chance to get at least a step further, but wasn't to be. That's the way it is."

Novak Djokovic on his French Open 2018 QF loss: "The one that won deserved to win, and that was Marco Cecchinato"

Novak Djokovic hugs Marco Cecchinato at the 2018 French Open
Novak Djokovic hugs Marco Cecchinato at the 2018 French Open

In the same post-match press conference at the 2018 French Open, Novak Djokovic openly praised his quarterfinal opponent, Marco Cecchinato, highlighting how "amazingly" he managed to maintain his composure under pressure.

"He [Marco Cecchinato] went pretty far," Djokovic said. "Semifinals is a great result. But he didn't seem to be, you know, under impression of the big stadium or big match. He just held his nerves amazingly well in the important moments."

The World No. 1 continued:

"Well, it's never been hard for me to congratulate and hug an opponent that just we shared a great moment on the court. And the one that won deserved to win the match, and that was Marco today."
"I know him well. He's a great guy. He deserved. And that's something everybody should do. On the other hand, when you walk off the court, of course, it's a hard one to swallow," he added.

In a twist of fate, Cecchinato was defeated by eventual runner-up Dominic Thiem in the semifinals. Thiem's victory marked a significant milestone, as he became the first Austrian to reach a Major singles final since Thomas Muster at Roland Garros in 1995.

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