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Novak Djokovic doesn’t know if he’ll play the grass season after shock defeat to Marco Cecchinato

Novak Djokovic suffered a shock four-set defeat to world No. 72 Marco Cecchinato in the Roland Garros quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Reem Abulleil 2018/06/05

A visibly dejected Novak Djokovic told reporters after his shock four-set defeat to world No. 72 Marco Cecchinato in the Roland Garros quarter-finals that he is not sure if he’ll play the grass-court season, including Wimbledon.

Djokovic fell 6-3, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 7-6 (11) to the Italian, squandering a 4-1 lead in the fourth set and getting treatment for a neck issue and a calf problem during the match.

The Serb rushed to the media centre after his loss and was bizarrely ushered into the smaller interview room, which wasn’t even ready with stenographers on hand to transcribe the press conference.

After congratulating Cecchinato and paying tribute to his performance, Djokovic was curt in his responses and was unable to reveal any of his future plans.

Asked if he at least showed his fighting spirit and felt that he got his grit back, Djokovic said: “I’m back in the locker room, that’s where I’m back.”

The ex-world No. 1 refused to articulate how he was feeling but conceded that Tuesday’s defeat was a tough pill to swallow.

“Any defeat is difficult in the Grand Slams but especially the one that came from months of build-up. I thought I had a great chance to get at least a step further but it wasn’t to be so, that’s the way it is,” said the No. 20 seed.

“He played amazing and credit to him. Congratulations for a great performance. He came out really well. I struggled from the beginning. Unfortunately it took me time to get well. I struggled with a little injury as well in the beginning and after when I warmed up it was better but it’s just a pity that I couldn’t capitalise on the chances at 4-1 in the fourth set and some break points I thought I had him there but he came back and credit to him.”

Djokovic wouldn’t expand on the physical problems he suffered during the match but added: “Just a couple of things but nothing major really, I don’t want to talk about that.”

Pressed on whether he might skip Wimbledon, Djokovic replied: “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know, I cannot give you any answer.”

Cecchinato is the lowest-ranked man to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals since a 100th-ranked Andrei Medvedev reached the last-four here in 1999.

The 25-year-old, who upset David Goffin in the previous round, is the first Italian man to reach the semi-finals at a Grand Slam since Corrado Barazzutti at the 1978 Roland Garros.

Prior to this tournament, Cecchinato had lost in the first round at each of the four Grand Slam events he had contested. He next faces No. 7 seed Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals.

“He went pretty far, semi-finals is a great result, but he didn’t seem to be under the impression [fazed] of the big stadium and big match. He held his nerves amazingly well in the important moments, he’s playing well. He’s going to play Dominic who is also in great form. Dominic is obviously the favourite but you never know,” said Djokovic.

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Marco Cecchinato Novak Djokovic Roland Garros