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Novak Djokovic 'did not believe' he could beat Rafael Nadal, claims coach

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at French Open

Novak Djokovic looked like he 'did not believe' he could beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open, his coach Goran Ivanisevic has said.

Djokovic faced Nadal in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, with his title defence coming to an end after four sets of brilliant tennis from both players.

After the match, Djokovic told the press that he simply had to accept that Nadal played better on the day.

And, while there can never be any shame in anyone losing to Nadal at Roland Garros, Ivanisevic said Djokovic seemed much more passive than usual.

"I cannot say that I am disappointed, but I am sad," Ivanisevic told Sasa Ozmo for Tennis Majors.

"It was not a perfect match from either side. Rafa did not play a spectacular match, but the body language decided, from the first point until the last: Rafa’s body language and Novak’s body language.

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"It was like he lacked energy and like he did not believe sufficiently that he could win. You cannot allow that to yourself against Rafa, because this is his tournament.

"It is not the time nor the place to speak about the match in-depth immediately after it was finished. I empathise with Novak, he is the one that is playing and fighting, so he is feeling the worst, and I am very sad for him because I thought that he could have won.

"Novak now needs to rest well and prepare for Wimbledon physically and mentally. I am sure that he can do it and I think he will win Wimbledon, I have a good feeling about that."

Novak Djokovic will drop to world number three on June 13, but he may still be the top seed at Wimbledon due to Daniil Medvedev being banned from playing and Alexander Zverev battling injury.

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