Djokovic searching for solutions after French Open meltdown

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By Euronews  with REUTERS
Djokovic searching for solutions after French Open meltdown

<p>Novak Djokovic’s season reached a new low with a crushing defeat by Dominic Thiem in the French Open quarter-finals on Wednesday and afterwards the Serb admitted he was struggling to find the solution to stop the slide.</p> <p>The Serb, who turned 30 last month, will drop outside the top two for the first time since march 2011 on Monday — quite a contrast to a year ago when his domination of men’s tennis was complete after winning the French Open for the first time.</p> <p>Since then he has bagged only two titles and in grand slam there has been a worrying decline.</p> <p>After losing to Stan Wawrinka in the U.S. Open final he suffered a second-round defeat at the Australian Open to 117th-ranked Denis Istomin. On Wednesday, with a 32nd grand slam semi-final looming, he fell apart against Thiem, losing 7-6(5) 6-3 6-0.</p> <p>“You know, it’s obviously tough to get out of it and figure out the way how to move ahead,” Djokovic, who appeared to give up against Thiem in a 20-minute third set, told reporters.</p> <p>“At least I’m trying. You know, I’m trying to get better, trying to be on a high level again.</p> <p>“For me, it’s a whole new situation that I’m facing, especially in the last seven, eight months, not winning any tournament, which hasn’t happened in many years.</p> <p>“All the top players have been through it. So I guess you’ve got to go through it, learn your lessons and figure out the way. It’s a big challenge, but I’m up for it.”</p> <p>Djokovic split with Boris Becker towards the end of last year as his number one ranking was about to disappear.</p> <p>Last month he then parted company with his long-term coaching team of Marian Vajda, fitness coach Gebhard Phil Gritsch and physio Miljan Amanovic, saying he needed to try and rediscover his spark.</p> <p>Shortly before setting out to try and defend the French Open he announced that he had got together with eight-time major champion Andre Agassi, although the American was only in Paris for a week and missed Djokovic’s defeat by Thiem.</p> <p>Djokovic said he hoped his relationship with Agassi, who famously recovered from a slump to win several majors after his 30th birthday, would help him return to form.</p> <p>“Don’t put Andre in the midst of this. This final set, of course, that’s all me,” Djokovic said.</p> <p>“As I have mentioned before several times when you guys ask me about his influence and impact on my game, it’s gonna take time.</p> <p>“It’s not something that comes out in the first week. We have spent seven days together. We just got to know each other.</p> <p>“Obviously he didn’t want to give me too much information when the tournament started. We will see where it takes us.”</p> <p>Djokovic’s defeat, his first before the semis in Paris since 2010, was all the more shocking as he beat Austrian sixth seed Thiem 6-1 6-0 in Rome a few weeks ago.</p> <p>On a windy Court Suzanne Lenglen after Thiem saved two set points in the opener, his game became littered with errors.</p> <p>“I’m feeling like I’m missing consistency. I play a great match or two in a row, and then I play a completely opposite match. That’s what happened today,” said Djokovic.</p> <p>“Just not feeling it.”</p>