“Nothing was going my way and everything was going his way. It was just a very bad set. All in all it was decided in the first set.”
Djokovic had two set points on Thiem’s serve during the opener. But the 23-year-old Austrian saved them and went on to win the tiebreak seven points to five after 76 minutes.
Thiem broke early in the second and also in the third. “Those leads for me made it tough for him,” he said. “It’s understandable that it got difficult for him mentally and that’s why at the end it was probably a little bit easier for me.”
Djokovic is renowned for his granite like resolve. And he conceded that he was still in search of the mojo that carried him between July 2015 and June 2016 to four consecutive Grand Slam crowns of Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open and the French Open.
But since lifting the Coupe des Mousquetaires on Court Philippe Chatrier last June, Djokovic has not won another major. “I expect a lot from myself,” he said. “It’s unfortunate to finish Roland Garros like this but it’s a fact that I’m not playing close to my best and I know that. I’m trying to work on my game and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
“For me this is a whole new situation especially in the last seven or eight months not winning any big tournaments which hadn’t happened in many years. It has happened to other players. I guess you’ve got to go through it and try to learn your lessons and figure out how to come out of it stronger.”
Djokovic sacked his entire coaching team in May just before the start of the French Open and then announced he would link up with former world number one Andre Agassi.
The pair spent a week together before Agassi left for a family holiday. “Don’t get Andre’s absence into this,” said Djokovic. “It is all about me. My progress won’t be something that comes out of a first week. We are just getting to know each other and we’ll see where it takes us.”
The duo plan to spend time together before the start of the start of the third Grand Slam event of the season at Wimbledon where the Serb has won three titles. “I know I have achieved the biggest highs in our sport," he added. "I know I can get there again but the Thiems of the circuit are hungry to beat me and get their hands on the trophies. The world is not spinning around me. There are other players that want the prizes too.”