Novak Djokovic explained that the death of a prominent figure in Serbia played a part on his shock loss to Lorenzo Sonego on Friday.
Djokovic put in arguably the most lacklustre performance of his career in Vienna, winning just three games in the whole match.
Before the match, though Djokovic took to Instagram to pay tribute to Amfilohije Radovic, who was a huge figure in the Serbian Orthodox church but sadly passed away on Friday morning at the age of 83.
Djokovic is a devout member of the Serbian Orthodox faith and has previously admitted that his religious beliefs have ‘always been a mainframe for me and my family,’ particularly through the troubled times of his childhood in war-torn Serbia.
Asked if the death of Radovic played a part in his performance, Djokovic admitted: “Yes, to be honest I did not feel like playing too much.
“The sad news did have an effect on me, but not the extent that I could not play. I have come to Vienna with a goal and I have fulfilled it.
“This was admittedly a very weird day, but it is what it is. I move on and I am turning a new page.
“I am going to spend some time with my family, I am coming back to Serbia, which I am looking forward to.
“I will have a good preparation for London in order to have a strong ending to the season.”
Djokovic though also took the time to pay tribute to Sonego, who described the win as ‘the best of my life.’
“He just blew me off the court, that’s all,” Djokovic told atptour.com of Sonego.
“He was better in every segment of the game. It was a pretty bad match from my side, but amazing from his side.”
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