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April 13, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Monte Carlo, Monaco

J. VESELY/N. Djokovic

6-4, 2-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What is your reaction to that? Everyone thinks you're unbeatable, and sometimes nobody's unbeatable.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There is a proof nobody's unbeatable. Happens so many times in my career that I lose a match. It's not a first time.

Obviously it's not easy to lose the match in terms of accepting it, you know, right after exiting the court. But I have to congratulate my opponent. I think he played very solid. He was serving very big. He was playing tactically good and aggressive.

On the other hand, for me, there were just very few things I could take out from today's match as a positive. I was playing really, really bad.

But, you know, nothing taking away from my opponent's performance. He deserved to win. When he was break up in the third set, he was playing bravely. He was coming in, dropshots, big serves. He was going for it. He deserved to have it.

Q. Were you happy with how the practice week went? Did you think the first match could be complicated?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, practice week went well in terms of feeling the ball. But I didn't feel that freshness, you know, the entire time. Working hard obviously, trying to do my best on a daily basis.

But, you know, eventually this was going to happen. Everything happens for a reason. I'm going to get some more time off now, which I look forward to. I'm going to need some rest, physical and mental, as well.

Q. Do you think in the grand scheme of things for the summer, the French is five, six weeks away, does this actually mean a great deal, this result today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, you never like to lose and kind of think that that's going to help your future. That's not the way I am. I don't calculate. Of course, Roland Garros is the big one on clay.

But I love playing Monte-Carlo tournament, and it's disappointing to lose the first match playing at home in a way. I practice here in these courts. I live here for last eight, nine years. So definitely not something that I wished and not something that I wanted. But in sport you've got to accept it.

As I said, I think the time off will serve me well - mentally mostly. It's been a tough four or five months. I need time to kind of recharge.

Q. You said you need to rest physically and mentally. Do you think you're paying for the beginning of this year, which was amazing, but so many matches?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Probably. I mean, it's not the first time that I'm facing these kind of circumstances in terms of schedule. Again, I knew that it's going to be tough to start the clay court season in a right way. Really, I had two days off after entire beginning of the year. You know, preparations and the whole tournament swing that I played on hard courts, coming here two days, then practicing on clay.

But it is what it is. I'm going to try to regroup and get fresh for next one.

Q. It's three years since you've lost a second-round match. Does that knock your confidence at all or do you blank that out?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, it's not the first time, as I've said, that I've lost this early. Of course, it hasn't happened recently. It's a different feeling.

But, you know, as I said, I have to congratulate the better player today on the court and just move on from there. That's it. It's already behind me.

Q. I know you said that you like playing at home, but you have had a lot of off-court commitments as well. Is it difficult to focus on the job at hand when you have all this going on in your life?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, of course it's different playing where you live. In terms of commitments, everyday routine, I would say it doesn't change much. I was still practicing every day, following the training schedule. My whole team was here for a week.

It is what it is. Sometimes you don't play your best and you lose.

Q. Do you think the fact that your opponent already had played on clay this season was a key today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Maybe you can ask him. From my perspective, analyzing my own game, as I said, it was a really poor performance. Not being able to stay in the point, just bad footwork, a lot of things that went wrong way.

But this was one of the days when things don't go the way you intend to and the way you wish them to. But it's sport.

Q. Are you quitting practice for now or going on with your practice schedule?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, it's going to be rest. Complete rest. I'm really looking forward to that.

Q. You said nothing worked more or less in your game. Is there something more specific, maybe the forehand didn't work, the backhand, the footwork? I guess you're not so pessimistic about the rest of the season anyway, no?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, of course. I mean, look, I've had an incredible start of the season. This match today will not disturb my preparation for the rest of the season and what's coming up. I'm still confident. I'm still feeling I'm playing the best tennis of my life.

I'll just rest, because sometimes that's what is needed, then get back on the practice courts, adjust to this surface that is completely different from any other, and hopefully I'll be better in the next tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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