Novak Djokovic: Dominic Thiem "was the better player"

The Serb admitted his opponent deserved to win after dumping out the defending Roland Garros champion

Dominic Thiem

Image: Chen Yichen/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Novak Djokovic admits he was beaten by the "better player" on Wednesday afternoon after he was knocked out of the French Open in straight sets by Dominic Thiem.

The Serb, who was defending his Roland Garros crown, was beaten in emphatic fashion and the world number two said he had little to complain about after the set.

"It's hard to comment on the third set, nothing was going my way and everything was going his way," he said. "It was a pretty bad set but all in all it was decided in the first set.

"I lost that crucial break at the beginning of the second set and Dominic started serving better. He deserved to win, he was the better player."

In a hard fought first set, Thiem ran out winner 7-6 (7-5) and set the tone for the remainder of the match. The Swiss then coasted through the remaining two sets 6-3 6-0 to secure the victory.

"He made it difficult for me. He has really heavy spin and can play quickly, so he's got an all-round game for clay courts.

"It just wasn't there for me today, especially in the second part of the match. I was unable to hit the ball well and in the mean time he was getting more confident."

Asked whether he felt as though he was returning to any semblance of form he exhibited last year, he said: "In the last couple of tournaments I've had some great matches. It's unfortunate to finish Roland Garros the way I have today. 

"I always expect a lot from myself but it's just a fact that I'm not playing close to my best. I know that, but I'm trying like anyone else to work on my game."