Defeat 'not the end of the world', says Djokovic
Novak Djokovic insists his early Madrid Open exit at the hands of Kyle Edmund is "not the end of the world".
The 12-time grand slam champion suffered a 6-3 2-6 6-3 defeat to the Briton in the second round on Wednesday, a loss that means he has won as many matches as the six he has lost in 2018.
Djokovic's defeat came as a blow after he recorded an impressive first-round straight-sets victory over Kei Nishikori on Monday.
Despite crashing out of another tournament as he continues his comeback from the elbow injury that curtailed his 2017 season, Djokovic thinks the two competitive matches will prove beneficial with the French Open fast approaching.
"Obviously I'm disappointed from losing this match and to go out early in the tournament," said the Serbian.
"But I can be happy with the progress of the level of my tennis.
"It's not the end of the world. Obviously, I've played this sport so many years and had a bunch of success. I try to always remind myself and be grateful for that.
"At the same time, nobody is forcing me to play this sport. I do it because I like it. I want to do it. And that's something also that makes me fortunate to play the sport.
"So that's where I draw my strength. And as long as I keep going, as long as I love the sport, I'll keep going. And that's all it is."
Djokovic, who has one more tournament - the Internazionali d'Italia - in which to recapture his form before the French Open, continued: "There are obvious things that are not working well for me.
"But I have to keep working on them and pray that -- and hope that -- my game will get stronger, get better as the matches go the distance.
"Especially [at] such big tournaments against quality players, you've got to step in. I tried, but obviously, [it] wasn't to be. Hopefully, [the] next one.
"I haven't played a whole bunch of matches. But still, [I played] two tough opponents, tough matches. There are positives to take out from this."