“Novak Djokovic is starting to sound like Federer near the end”;"Crazy how everyone is grilling him”: Fans divided over Serb's remarks on 2024 drought

Roger Federer (L) and Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer (L) and Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic's Monte-Carlo Masters campaign ended at the hands of Casper Ruud in the semifinals on Saturday, April 13. It was notably his first-ever loss to the Norwegian after five meetings.

He lost to Ruud 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to exit a third straight tournament in the 2024 season thus far without a title. He started the year with a semifinal finish at the Australian Open and hit rock bottom a few weeks later as he lost to lucky loser Luca Nardi at the Indian Wells Masters in the third round.

In his post-match press conference, the Serb regretted the title drought but remained positive about his performances overall.

"I'm used to really high standard in terms of the results, so not having a title is not a great season at all. But I had semis of Australia, semis here. I only played three tournaments this year, so it's normal to expect that you have some seasons where you don't start well. Hopefully, I can pick up, I can build from here," he said.

One tennis fan on Reddit claimed that the 24-time Grand Slam champion's rhetoric sounded like Roger Federer's speeches at the time the Swiss was nearing retirement.

"Guy [Novak Djokovic] is starting to sound like Federer near the end too. It's just age, and it's normal. Bad performances will happen way more often now, making it harder to win tournaments. Before this, Ruud had never taken a set off him. That says a lot," the fan said.
Comment byu/No_Art_754 from discussion intennis

However, another fan offered a contrasting view suggesting that Ruud wasn't a lightweight and Monte-Carlo Country Club has never been Djokovic's favorite destination.

"It's crazy how everyone is grilling him [Novak Djokovic] over a SF loss against a solid, in-form Casper who’s also a two-time RG finalist. Novak seemed a little off early in the first set today but he completely upped his level afterwards. This shouldn’t even be a concern, considering MC has always been one of his least favourable tournaments in the past," the fan wrote.
Comment byu/No_Art_754 from discussion intennis

Here are a few more reactions from tennis fans:

"This is uncharted territory for Nole that's for sure," a fan wrote.
"It's inevitable that time does this to athletes in general. But yes, it's like Fed [Federer]," another fan stated.
"My thoughts too - set 2 and parts of 3 were the best tennis I’ve seen him play since ‘23," a fan commented.
"Yeah not bad at all. I'm not a fan, but admittedly he's in better shape than he was last year and he went on to win RG," said a fan.

Novak Djokovic's Triple Career Golden Masters hopes were dashed

Novak Djokovic departs from Monte-Carlo Country Club.
Novak Djokovic departs from Monte-Carlo Country Club.

Novak Djokovic's loss to Casper Ruud in the semifinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters meant he narrowly failed to complete the Triple Career Golden Masters which means winning every ATP Masters 1000 tournament at least thrice.

The Serb has amassed 40 titles across nine different Masters 1000 events since turning pro in the year 2003. Out of the 40, five have come at Indian Wells, six at Miami, three at Madrid, six at Rome, four at Toronto/Montreal, three at Cincinnati, four at Shanghai, and seven at Paris.

The Monte-Carlo Masters remains the only ATP 1000 tournament Djokovic has won only twice. He first won it in 2013 with a win over Rafael Nadal in the summit clash and then in 2015 by defeating Tomas Berdych.

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Edited by Pritha Ghosh
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