Novak Djokovic will have to wait at least another year before completing his bid for the Golden Career Masters, as he was unceremoniously dispatched from the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati following a straight sets loss to an inspired Tommy Robredo.
Djokovic was clearly far from his best from the start of the match and paid for it dearly when he failed to capitalize in the opening set tiebreak and eventually fell behind early in the match. He would later save two match points after double faulting on his serve but it would be third time lucky for Robredo, who finished the match off with an emphatic forehand winner on his next return game.
Following the match, Djokovic made no attempt to mask his disappointment and admit that he will need to work much harder to truly prepare for the season’s final Grand Slam event. To put these losses in perspective, this is the first time that Djokovic goes 2-2 in hard court matches at the start of the US Open Series since 2008.
“Just many, many, many things are not clicking these two weeks on hard courts,” said Djokovic. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s more than obvious I’m not playing even close to what I’m supposed to play. I have to keep on working and trying to get better for US Open.”
While Djokovic was unable to make it to the third round of the Cincinnati Masters, the only Masters 1000 title that he is yet to win on the professional tour, two other members of the Big Four – Roger Federer and Andy Murray – made it to the quarter-final round in straight sets.