Novak Djokovic could not defend his Monte Carlo title in 2014, losing to Roger Federer 7-5, 6-2 in the semi-final. Novak struggled with the right wrist injury, making it worse in the previous round and losing steam in the second set against Roger.
Djokovic felt the pain but did not want to retire, playing until the end at his home event. Despite reaching the semi-final, the Serb described the event as ‘the one to forget’ due to this setback, experiencing this injury for the first time in a career.
It was their 34th meeting, and Federer secured his 18th victory. The Swiss dropped 14 points in ten service games, defending both break points and keeping the pressure on the other side. Djokovic gave everything in the opener, refusing to surrender and fighting until the end.
He got broken three times and failed to defend the title claimed a year ago after beating an eight-time winner Rafael Nadal. Nothing could separate them in the rallies with five strokes or more, and Federer dominated in the shortest exchanges up to four shots to earn the victory.
The Swiss hit more winners and drew more forced mistakes from the Serb to forge the first all-Swiss Masters 1000 final against Stan Wawrinka. Novak fought well in the opening eight games and saved a break point at 4-4 to remain on the positive side.
Djokovic pushed strong on the return in game ten and created two set points.
Novak Djokovic played with a wrist injury against Roger Federer in MOnte Carlo 2014.
Federer denied them with brave hitting and held with a booming serve.
Roger gained a boost and grabbed nine of the final 11 games. The Swiss came from 40-0 down in the 11th game to rattle off five straight points and deliver a crucial break. Roger served for the set at 6-5 and wrapped it up with an ace.
Federer painted a backhand winner at 1-1 in the second set to secure a break and fired three winners in the next one for 3-1. With little left in the tank, Novak experienced another break in game five and fell 4-1 behind. Federer served for the victory at 5-2 and landed an unreturned serve for his first Monte Carlo final in six years.
“It was a match to forget for me. It’s a big tournament against a great rival, and it was unfortunate that I could not play at my best. The injury took away all of my energy and effort. I have been feeling the pain for around ten days, and I tried not to think or talk about it.
I did everything possible, taking medications daily and doing different therapies and injections. In the end, the semi-final is a good result, but I’m disappointed that I could not play as well as I could. I played with pain from the end of the second set, primarily while serving, and I could not do more than this.
I’m not trying to take anything away from Roger’s win; he deserves to be in the final. I do not need surgery, which is a good thing. It’s not a rapture or anything like that. I will see the doctor tonight and have another MRI tomorrow to see if anything has changed in the previous seven days.
I did not want to pull out because people would start saying different things about me and my withdrawal. That was the main reason. My wrist got worse yesterday against Garcia-Lopez. The conditions were slow, and we had extended rallies and heavy balls.
That did not help the state of my arm, and it has been as it is now since the last night. I never had this problem before, and I can not precisely tell the injury, as I have heard so many things in the past ten days. I will have to find the causes.
This is my home tournament, and I wanted to do everything to play and fight until the end,” Novak Djokovic said.