Belgrade - Serbia's press on Thursday lamented the poor
performance of national tennis hero Novak Djokovic after he crashed out of the
French Open, the latest shock in a year-long slide in form.
Defending champion Djokovic suffered a stunning 7-6 (7/5),
6-3, 6-0 quarter-final defeat to Austria's Dominic Thiem in what was his
earliest exit at Roland Garros in seven years.
The 30-year-old Serb hinted that he may step back from the
sport to regroup, just 12 months after holding all four Grand Slam titles.
"This has not happened to Novak in the past 12
years," read a headline in Blic newspaper's online edition.
The defeat was Djokovic's first straight-sets loss at a
major in four years and his first 6-0 "bagel" at a Slam since the
2005 US Open.
"Djokovic outplayed like never before," read a
headline in the Politika daily, which lamented his "inglorious farewell to
last year's title".
"What was worst about this failure was not the really
negative result... but that Djokovic did not have the slightest chance in the
second and third sets, nor did he show any of the quality seen in his best
days," commented the newspaper.
The Vecernje Novosti newspaper said the defeat "will
cost a lot" as Djokovic may now fall to fourth position in the world
The former world number one was knocked off top spot in
November by Britain's Andy Murray.
Last month he announced he had parted ways with his training
team, including long-time coach Marian Vajda, believing that this "shock
therapy" could help him return to the top of the game.
He then brought in Andre Agassi as coach.
Djokovic lives in Monaco but remains hugely popular in his
native country, where he set up a foundation developing early childhood