Novak Djokovic hails Rafael Nadal after five-set semi-final epic
Novak Djokovic was a magnanimous loser after he suffered a heart breaking defeat in the semi-finals of the French Open
Last Updated: 08/06/13 1:39pm
The world No 1 from Serbia was beaten 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7 (3-7) 9-7 by seven-time champion Rafa Nadal who was a break down in the deciding set before crossing the line after four hours and 37 minutes.
Djokovic, who lost in last year's final to the Spaniard, said: "It's been an unbelievable match to be part of but all I can feel now is disappointment.
"I congratulate my opponent, because he showed the courage in the right moments and went for his shots, and when he was a break down in the fifth he made some incredible shots from the baseline.
"That's why he's a champion. That's why he's been ruling Roland Garros for many years, and for me it's another year.
"I gave my best. I really did. I really tried to come back. The third set wasn't great at all. I just dropped physically.
"I managed to come back and start playing really, really well as the match was going on, but it wasn't good enough."