Madrid Open: Djokovic Upbeat Despite Another Setback
Djokovic's struggles continued with an overwhelming loss to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the Madrid Open on Saturday, a result that extended his streak of five consecutive tournaments without an appearance in a final.
Still, the second-ranked Djokovic left Spain with reason to feel good about his game.
"It was a positive week, a positive experience," he said. "I take more positives than negatives into the next week in Rome. As I go along, I hope to continue getting better and getting stronger. I felt like I was playing well throughout the week."
He blamed his elimination mostly on Nadal's good form.
"I could have played better," Djokovic said. "But, again, I just had an opponent that was too good. I have to move on. Semifinals is a good result. Hopefully I'll have another good result in Rome."
Rome will be Djokovic's last tournament before he defends his title at the French Open.
"It was really good to play in the semifinals of a big event, and to play against one of the top rivals I have in my life," Djokovic said. "I haven't had that feeling in months, so it's great to feel that."
Djokovic hadn't made it to a semifinal since he won in Doha in the beginning of the season. He reached the last four in Madrid after Kei Nishikori withdrew before the quarterfinals because of an injury.
Djokovic, who missed some playing time this season because of an elbow injury, has won only 14 matches this year. Last year he was 31-2 after winning the title in Madrid, which was his fifth of the season at the time.
The Madrid Open was Djokovic's first tournament since he parted ways with long time coach Marian Vajda and two other team members to try to regain his "winning spark on the court.