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Novak Djokovic makes ‘I wanted to lose’ comment after ‘brutal’ double-bagel win at Australian Open


Novak Djokovic has admitted that he ‘wanted to lose’ a game after handing out a double bagel in his win over Adrian Mannarino.

The world No 1 stormed through to the quarter-final of the Australian Open with an emphatic performance at Rod Laver Arena.


Djokovic had not been at his best for the first two matches of the tournament against Dino Prizmic and Alexei Popyrin.

But he turned up the heat with a straight-sets win over Tomas Martin Etcheverry on Friday before brushing Mannarino aside to reach the last eight.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has admitted he wanted to lose a game at the Australian Open

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Djokovic saved two break points in the first game of the match.

It was a big missed opportunity for Mannarino, who then didn’t have an answer for his opponent’s excellence.

Djokovic didn’t drop a game in either of the first two sets to hand out a double bagel.

Mannarino finally got on board with his first service game of the third set.

Ten-time winner Djokovic has revealed afterwards that he was happy that the Frenchman won a game.

He said: “I really wanted to lose that game in the third set because the tension was building up so much in the stadium.

“I needed to get that out of the way and refocus on what I needed to do to finish the match.”

Reacting to the match, former British No 1 Tim Henman claimed it was a brutal performance from Djokovic.

Henman said on Eurosport: “It was brutal, wasn’t it?

“The first game, Mannarino had a couple of opportunities, and then 13 games later he’s sitting down having lost all 13 so that’s a rough day at the office.

“He’s been playing well, beat Ben Shelton in the previous round, but it just goes to show the gulf in class of Djokovic at the top of the game.”

Djokovic will now play the USA’s Taylor Fritz in the quarter-final on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old has been struggling with a cold in the opening week of the tournament.

But he is now happy with both his health and his tennis.

Djokovic said: “I served very well. In the moments when I needed to come up with the first serve, I did. All in all, great performance.

“The last couple of days has been really good so it’s going in a positive direction health wise, tennis wise, so I’m really happy.”

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Adrian Mannarino

Adrian Mannarino won just three games against Novak Djokovic

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Djokovic shut down any talk of retiring anytime soon in his on-court interview.

He insists he is still highly motivated to win Grand Slam events.

The Serbian added: “It’s (motivation) still there. The fire is still burning.

“I think that’s what allowed me to be where I am and achieve the things that I have achieved.

“Part of me, of course, is enjoying the process. Otherwise I wouldn’t be playing.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is through to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open

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“At the end of the day, I’m not playing anymore because I need more money or I need more points, or whatever. I just want to play. I really enjoy the competition.

“The drive is there. That’s the most important thing an athlete should always have and nurture.”



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