Novak Djokovic news: Serbian 'felt unwell' before Monte-Carlo Masters defeat, says coach

Novak Djokovic looked short of fitness in his defeat to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, but his coach says there may have been more to it than just a lack of matches.

Novak Djokovic was feeling unwell before the Monte-Carlo Masters but will be ready to defend his French Open title.

Djokovic played just his fourth match of the year when he lost to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, and looked well short of both fitness and sharpness throughout.

Afterwards, he admitted that he 'collapsed physically' towards the end of the match, although he expected to improve throughout clay season.

That opinion is shared by coach Goran Ivanisevic, who has revealed Djokovic arrived in Monte-Carlo feeling ill.

"He wasn't feeling well before he came here," Ivanisevic told Ubitennis. "He was sick.

"Let's say he's not fit one hundred percent to compete. First of all in this situation.

"Three weeks ago he was not allowed to play here because of the Covid decision. Then France opened and he was allowed. And it's difficult mentally.

"You can't prepare the way you would need to. And then he got sick. And, to be honest, I didn't expect something spectacular from this tournament.

Novak Djokovic 'collapsed physically' in Monte-Carlo

"But he'll be going to the French Open in five/six weeks, he's got a couple more tournaments and he will be ready."

For Ivanisevic, though, the solution is simple: Djokovic just needs to play more.

"He'll find his way out of this in his constant playing," Ivanisevic explained.

"He only had three matches prior to this tournament. Clay is not easy. Last year he started pretty badly here, he lost to Evans in the second round. Then in Belgrade he lost in the semis.

"He started to play well in Rome where he got to the final, then he won the French Open. So I'm not worried. He just needs some continuity, he needs to play more and more matches and he's going to find his way."

Djokovic will resume his season next week at the Serbia Open.

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