It's Czech mate as Novak hopes dip

May 2013
Daily Mail;5/18/2013, p65
AFTER doing the near-impossible and beating Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo last month Novak Djokovic's dream of winning the one Grand Slam that eludes him looked within reach. Yet things have gone awry since, and yesterday he squandered a big lead and went down 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to Tomas Berdych, the Czech who looks like he might break up the hegemony of tennis's top four. Djokovic, who led 5-2 in the second set, has lost two of his four matches since Monaco, and his chances at the French Open appear reduced. The world No 1, who lost his first match in Madrid a week ago, berated himself for allowing bad habits of old to creep back into his game. 'I lost concentration and started playing defensive,' he said. 'Paris is the most important event of the year for me and I know I can do well there but I shouldn't allow myself to have these drops in matches.' Berdych faces the winner of Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer in the final.


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