The Serbian was highly expected to make it to the Australian Open final, but he fell one step short of that goal. The Serbian took on Jannik Sinner, and the Italian proved better in four sets.
It was a shocking display from Djokovic, who admitted as much after the match, but he doesn't think it's a signal of some sort of decline. Many players are stepping up and raising their level, which will make things more complicated for the 24-time Grand Slam champion, but he's still hopeful for the future and his chances to win a couple of more Grand Slams.
"I still have high hopes for other slams, Olympics, and whatever tournaments that I'll play. It's just the beginning of the season. It's not the feeling that I'm used to."
"It kind of has been incredibly satisfying for me to start off most of my seasons with a Grand Slam win and never lost in semis or finals of Australian Open."
This is obviously not what Djokovic wanted, and it's not ideal, but as he said, 'it is what it is.' He's pretty certain that he has plenty more to give to the sport, even though, in some ways, it might look like it's the beginning of the end. The Serbian dismisses the narrative and remains as motivated as ever.
"So this time it's a bit different, but it is what it is. This tournament hasn't been, as I said, up to my standard or criteria or the level that I would normally play or expect myself to play, but doesn't necessarily mean that it's beginning of the end, as some people like to call it. Let's see what happens in the rest of the season."