Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Djokovic unsure about Wimbledon after French Open exit

Djokovic unsure about Wimbledon after French Open exit

Novak Djokovic has crashed out of the French Open and cast doubt over whether he will play at Wimbledon.

Playing at his lowest ranking for nearly 12 years after months of struggling with an elbow injury and indifferent form, Djokovic has made the last eight by dropping just one set.

He replied: "I don't know".

"I don't know if I'm going to play on grass", Djokovic told a media conference room minutes after walking off court. You know, for me, not having so many matches in the last period, this is great. I just came from the court.

"Me and my brother (Mischa) are guys that spend three, four hours a day in the gym, lifting heavy weights, on the treadmill".

Djokovic was sent spinning out of the French Open by world number 72 Marco Cecchinato.

But what looked like being a long night for the 12-times grand slam champion ended up being a reasonably comfortable one.

Still yet to drop a set in her five matches at Roland-Garros this year, the 23-year-old responded magnificently after a break left her two games adrift in the opening set, which she won via tiebreak after missing two set points.

The world number three, as he did in his wins over Dusan Lajovic and Damir Dzumhur, battled back from 2-1 down in sets to force a decider, before securing an impressive victory that featured 63 winners and 17 aces.

Cecchinato stayed composed and bagged the set with an unreturnable serve, Djokovic getting more treatment on his neck before the second set started.

Cecchinato, who will face No. 7 seed Dominic Thiem in the semifinals, is unlikely to match that story line, but he will always have Tuesday's stirring victory over Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion and a former No. 1.

Next up: No. 7 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria, who made it to his third consecutive French Open semifinal by beating No. 2 Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 earlier Tuesday.

But from somewhere Cecchinato got a second wind, breaking back and forcing a tiebreak.

It was hard to discern which was less likely: that 12-time major champion Novak Djokovic would falter in his French Open quarterfinal or that Marco Cecchinato, who never won a Grand Slam match until last week and once faced a possible ban for losing on goal, would rise to the occasion.

"He held his nerves amazingly well in important moments", said 2016 Roland Garros champion Djokovic, on the comeback trail after an injury-hit year. Maybe I am sleeping.

Cecchinato is bidding to become the first Italian man to reach the semi-finals at a Grand Slam since Corrado Barazzutti in Paris in 1978.

"It's wonderful. It's unbelievable for me". Now I need to think for the semi-final and I need some rest for recovery.

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