Novak Djokovic remained upbeat following his Madrid Open semi-final defeat to Rafael Nadal, insisting he will take the positives from the tournament.
Nadal recorded a first win over Djokovic in almost three years to seal a place in the Madrid Open final against either Dominic Thiem or Pablo Cuevas.
Djokovic had not been to the semi-final of a tournament since the Qatar Open in January and admits it has felt good to get back among the top players again.
“It was really good to play in the semi-finals of a big event, and to play against one of the top rivals I have in my life. I haven’t had that feeling in months, so it’s great to feel that,” he said.
“It was a positive week, a positive experience. I take, as I say, more positives than negatives into the next week in Rome. As I go along, I hope to continue getting better and getting stronger.
“Rafa was obviously a better player today. He deserved to win. He controlled the game from beginning to the end.
“It wasn’t a very high quality of tennis from my side. I made a lot of unforced errors. His quality was very high. He managed to do whatever he wanted really, especially in the first set.”