• ATP Tour

Djokovic cools injury talk following Dimitrov loss

ESPN staff
May 8, 2013
Novak Djokovic could now find himself in a battle for the year-end No.1 ranking © AP

Novak Djokovic has calmed injury fears after rolling his right ankle during his shock second round defeat to Grigor Dimitrov at the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday.

World No. 1 Djokovic had to call on the trainer during the second set of his 7-6(6) 6-7(8) 3-6 loss to the Bulgarian, but was quick to play down the injury during his post-match interview stating that it was the right decision to endure a medical break.

"I thought it was the right decision because, luckily for me, nothing really happened when I twisted the ankle during the match," Djokovic said. "It was a slight moment.

"I had good protection on my ankle. So right now that is the only positive thing that I look into, is that I didn't injure my ankle worse before [the Internazionali d'Italia in] Rome and [Roland Garros in] Paris."

Djokovic, 25, remained full of praise for opponent Dimitrov, who is often nicknamed the 'Baby Federer', insisting he had no excuses in losing to the better man on court.

"For 12 days after Monte Carlo, I haven't touched the racket. I didn't prepare myself so well," Djokovic added. "But I'm not trying to find any excuses for the loss.

"I tried to do my best. All the credit also to Dimitrov, because he was the better player on the court. He was striking the ball really well, serving great, changing the pace and he deserved to win."

Defeat for No. 1 seed Djokovic ended hopes of successive ATP Tour 1000 victories on clay, following his impressive win over Rafael Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters last month.

The Serb now heads to the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, which he was won twice while also finishing runner-up to Nadal last year.

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