MADRID — Novak Djokovic is optimistic about his recreation going into the French Open regardless of going one other week and not using a title.

The top-ranked Djokovic has but to win a trophy this season whereas attempting to regain his best type after not being allowed to play within the Australian Open as a result of he was not vaccinated towards COVID-19.

Djokovic misplaced to younger sensation Carlos Alcaraz in three units within the semifinals of the Madrid Open on Saturday, when he was attempting to make it to his second consecutive closing after shedding to Andrey Rublev in Serbia final month.

Despite the loss, Djokovic stated he leaves Madrid feeling good about his preparations for the upcoming French Open, the place he’ll defend his title.

“I positively performed superb tennis, I imply, the best that I’ve performed this yr,” Djokovic stated. “Probably when the frustration of shedding this match passes, I’ll have lots of positives to remove from this week.”

Djokovic stated he felt he might have come away with the victory towards the 19-year-old Alcaraz — one the most popular gamers on tour this season — if he had been “in a position to capitalize when it mattered” in the course of the match of greater than 3½ hours on the Caja Mágica heart court docket.

“I had lots of probabilities,” Djokovic stated. “It was a improbable match. Great battle.”

The Madrid Open was solely his fourth event of the yr and third on clay. He misplaced to Twenty ninth-ranked Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his first match in Monte Carlo in his solely different Masters 1000 look up to now.

Djokovic, 34, didn’t play in Indian Wells and Miami. He will carry an 8-4 report on the season into Rome this week, with one of these victories coming after Andy Murray withdrew from their third-round match in Madrid as a result of of a abdomen sickness.

Djokovic opened his marketing campaign within the Spanish capital with a two-set win over Gael Monfils. He comfortably defeated Hubert Hurkacz in two units within the quarterfinals.

After the match towards Monfils, Djokovic stated it was “his best efficiency of the yr” contemplating he hadn’t performed properly and lacked rhythm within the few tournaments he had performed.

Djokovic reached the quarterfinals in the one different event he performed this yr, shedding to 72nd-ranked Jiri Vesely in Dubai in February.

The objective now could be getting ready to do properly in Roland Garros, the place Djokovic will attempt to win his third French Open.

“I believe it is on the great path, positively,” he stated.

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