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Djokovic proved right after early exit

NOVAK Djokovic came into the French Open aware that early-round opponents can create problems. He was proved right.

The two-time semifinalist at Roland Garros in Paris lost in the third round on Saturday, falling to No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 4-6, 4-6.

"As I was saying before the event started, the opening rounds are very dangerous because the players are a bit lower ranked and they have nothing to lose," Djokovic said. "Philipp is a claycourt specialist and he played incredibly well today."

Djokovic was the youngest man to complete a set of grand slam semifinal appearances. His only title, however, came at the 2008 Australian Open.

On Saturday, the 22-year-old Serb could do little right against Kohlschreiber, who was playing in the third round of the claycourt major for the first time in his career

"He didn't give me a lot of chances. But yet again, I didn't work for those chances," Djokovic said. "This is the problem. I played too passive, and he played really solid from all the strokes."

Kohlschreiber said he played as good as he ever has in a big tournament.

"Always it comes together that maybe Novak didn't play his best today," the German said. "But from my point of view, I played good matches. I was a lot of times controlling or dictating many, many points."

Djokovic reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2007, but he lost in the second round last year.

Kohlschreiber, 25, along with Tommy Haas, became the first Germans since Nicolas Kiefer in 2005 to reach the last 16 at Roland Garros.


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