Novak Djokovic shrugged off his shock Monte Carlo Masters exit on Friday, insisting he has plenty of time to whip his game into shape ahead of his assault on the French Open.
The world No 1 slumped to a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 defeat to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals of a Masters event he has won on two occasions.
The defeat also meant that the 15-time Major winner has not made a semi-final since claiming a record seventh Australian Open title in January.
“The French Open is the ultimate goal on clay. It’s expected in a way for me to peak right at that tournament, because that’s what I’m aiming for,” said Djokovic, who has swept the last three Grand Slams.
“This is only the first tournament on clay, and it’s a long season. Let’s see how it goes. Maybe I’m lacking the consistency with the top results in the last couple of years in the best tournaments.
“But I’ve been playing my best at Grand Slams and that’s what I intend to do.”
Djokovic, the 2013 and 2015 champion in Monte Carlo, praised 10th-seeded Medvedev who now has a tour-leading 21 wins in 2019, three more than even Roger Federer.
“I was up all three service games that I lost in the third set. I had game point but just some loose points on dropshots and double faults,” said the 31-year-old.
“It’s the first tournament of the season on clay, and a lot of maybe lower-ranked guys, they play maybe one tournament before. That can be one of the reasons [for the loss].”