Italian Open: 'A new generation is here already,' says Djokovic after quarterfinal loss to Holger Rune

After losing to Holger Rune in the Italian Open quarterfinals, world no .1 tennis player Novak Djokovic said that the "shift of generations" has come as the new generation has arrived in men's tennis.

Defending champion, Djokovic, didn't produce his best tennis on Wednesday night and suffered a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 defeat at the hands of world no.7 Dane.

The 20-year-old Dane defeated the world number one for the second time in his career after last autumn's final in Paris Bercy 6-2 4-6 6-2.

There are several younger players who have competed against and beaten Djokovic and other superstars on the ATP Tour, with Rune and another 20-year-old, Carlos Alcaraz among them.

"Obviously, a new generation is here already. I mean, Alcaraz is No. 1 in the world from Monday. Obviously, he's playing amazing tennis. I think it's also good for our sport that we have new faces, new guys coming up. It's normal.

"We've been saying this for years, that we can expect it to come, that moment to come when you have a kind of shift of generations," Djokovic said at the post-match press conference.

"I'm personally still trying to hang in there with all of them. I'm happy with - of course, very happy with - my career so far. I still have the hunger to keep going," he added.

Despite his quarterfinal loss, the Serbian is undeterred and expecting a good run at Roland-Garros.

Asked if he is still confident for French Open, which starts on May 28, he replied: "Yes."

The 35-year-old was also asked what else he needs going into the clay-court major, he said: "I know I can always play better. Definitely am looking forward to working on various aspects of my game, of my body, hopefully getting myself in 100 per cent shape. That's the goal.

"I always like my chances in Grand Slams against anybody on any surface, best-of-five. Let's see how it goes."

The 22-time Grand Slam champion is set to be seeded second at the French Open behind Alcaraz, who will take over as world No. 1 next week.

Disclaimer: This Article is auto-generated from the IANS news service.