LONDON (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic gave a brutally honest assessment of his performance after losing the Wimbledon final 6-4 7-5 6-4 to Andy Murray on Sunday.
Top seed Djokovic failed to produce the standard of tennis which has brought him six grand slam titles and Murray took advantage to claim his first Wimbledon crown.
“The bottom line is that he was a better player in decisive moments,” Djokovic told a news conference.
“Both second and third sets, I was 4‑2 up and dropped the serve in those games and just allowed him to come back for no reason.
“He was getting some incredible shots on the stretch and running down the drop shots. He was all over the court. He played fantastic tennis, no question about it. He deserved to win.”
Djokovic was at a loss to explain why his levels dropped in the key points when he is usually at his strongest.
“I should have played better in the decisive moments, as I said. I haven’t. I believed I could come back. I really fought but it wasn’t my day.
“I didn’t play on the top of my abilities and with this kind of game I didn’t have a chance to win.”
Djokovic was only too well aware of the pressure Murray was under to end Britain’s 77-year wait for the Wimbledon men’s singles title.
“It must mean a lot to everybody,” he said. “Wimbledon is the most important tennis tournament in the world. Especially for him as a British player and crowd, couldn’t be a more perfect setting for them.”
Djokovic heaped praise on Murray for his performance.
“It’s a very high level of tennis that we competed at today,” he said. “I knew I had to be on top of my game in order to prevail in this match. He had a huge motivation to win his first title.
“He’s such a good returner. Even though when I was putting my first serves in he was always getting them back in the court and making me play an extra shot. That’s why he won this tournament.”
Djokovic was taken to five sets by Juan Martin del Potro in an epic semi-final that lasted nearly five hours on Friday but he was not looking to blame fatigue.
“It took a lot out of me,” he said. “But I cannot look for excuses in the match two days ago. Yes, it went almost five hours, five sets.
“But I’ve been in these situations before. I felt okay. That’s life. You have to move on.”
Djokovic was happy with his form at Wimbledon where he won the title in 2011.
“It was the finals of Wimbledon, so I cannot be too disappointed with overall performance on the whole tournament,” he said.
“It was a great tournament for me. Could have done better today, but that’s sport.
“You cannot win all the matches. I’m going to try to take some time off, because that’s exactly what I need now.”
Editing by Pritha Sarkar