Djokovic says there was ‘nothing positive’ in his game before his return

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Novak Djokovic says there was ‘nothing positive’ in his game ahead of Wimbledon return

Novak Djokovic described his match with Jannik Sinner as two separate battles after recovering from two sets to love against the young Italian at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

The six-time Wimbledon champion was nearing the precipice of losing his first match at SW19 for five years after the 20-year-old prevailed 7-5, 6-2 on center court.

But a bathroom break and a pep talk later and the three-time defending champion was as good as nine before coming back to win in five sets and reach an 11th Wimbledon semi-final.

During his post-match press conference, Djokovic admitted that he was completely in a bad mood losing the first two sets.

He said: “I started to doubt my shots.

“He started to believe more in himself.

“He just had a better mentality on the pitch, I guess.

“He had the confidence to step in and dictate the game.

“I was too passive, and it happens.

“So I was really in defense mode, to be honest.

“There’s not a lot of positive going on for me in terms of the game.”

Djokovic’s positivity came on his own, describing his personal pep talk in a bit more detail.

He also explained how he had used the technique before.

Djokovic said: “There was no aggression there.

“It really gives you an effect and a support if you try to, you know, find the right positive affirmations and say them to yourself and kind of resuscitate yourself.

“So that’s what I did.

“I did it after losing the first two sets of the Roland Garros final against [Stefsnos] Tsitsipas.

“It doesn’t always work.

“It’s not a guarantee that it will always work.”

But just as it worked for him to win a 19th major title in Paris last year, it worked to keep him in pursuit of a 21st at Wimbledon this year.

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