Novak Djokovic heaped praise on Jiri Vesely following his shock loss in the second round of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters on Wednesday.
The Czech was superb on serve and rallied to break the world number one three time on his way to a memorable 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win on the clay courts of the port city.
“I have to congratulate the better player today on the court and just move on from there,” the eleven-time grand slam winner told the official ATP World Tour website.
“It is what it is. Sometimes you don’t play your best and you lose. He played very solid. He was serving very big. He was playing tactically good and aggressive.
“When he was a break up in the third set, he was playing bravely. He was coming in, hitting drop shots, big serves. He was going for it. He deserved to have it.”
Djokovic insisted that the loss does not hamper his preparations for the French Open, the one proverbial feather that is missing from his cap.
“This match today will not disturb my preparation for the rest of the season and what’s coming up,” said the 28-year-old.
“I’m still confident. I’m still feeling I’m playing the best tennis of my life. I’ll just rest, because sometimes that’s what is needed, then get back on the practice courts, adjust to this surface that is completely different from any other, and hopefully I’ll be better in the next tournament.”
The loss will see Djokovic enjoy a couple weeks of rest before he travels to Spain for the Mutua Madrid Open, which starts on May 1.