The world’s No. 2 player, Novak Djokovic, was upset on Thursday against wild card Denis Istomin in the second round at the Australian Open, losing 7-6(8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in five sets.
It’s now the third straight Grand Slam that Djokovic has failed to win after his streak of four in a row from Wimbledon 2015 to the French Open in 2016. He had also won six of the previous eight Grand Slams before Andy Murray won last year’s Wimbledon and Stan Wawrinka ended 2016 by winning the U.S. Open.
In other words, it’s not unrealistic to simply assume Djokovic will be the favorite at every tournament he plays in, even if it can now be said he’s in a bit of a slump—by the lofty standards he’s set for himself given his past performances, that is—at Grand Slams.
So, how will this affect the French Open?
Well, you’ll probably have an extremely motivated Djokovic looking to reclaim his perch atop the tennis world, for one thing. But perhaps you’ll also have a men’s field more confident than ever that Djokovic can be beaten at the top tournaments.
Underestimate Djokovic at your own peril, of course.
The truth is, Djokovic probably will approach the French Open the way he approaches every Grand Slam: focused, hungry and confident. He has always been the sort of player who learns from losses rather than obsesses over them.
“Life is a big lesson, it’s a big book. We keep writing the stories and there is another story to be written,” he said after losing the final of the U.S. Open to Wawrinka last season, per ATPWorldTour.com. “I wish that it was a bit different, but again, I think we learn much more from the losses like this than we do from wins.”
He added: “It’s never easy to lose Grand Slam finals, big matches, playing four hours. Of course everybody wants to be victorious, but at the end of the day, sometimes you win, you lose, and you’ve got to accept it and let it go.”
Those are the words of a player who bounces back from tough defeats. So what does Djokovic’s loss mean?
Not much. Win some, lose some, but at the end of the day, Djokovic is the best player in the game. Nobody will be thrilled to face him at Roland Garros. And it won’t be shocking if he earns his second straight title at the famous event.
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