The boos echoed, the sun took its usual toll on a player who is notorious for giving in to the physical stress of a match, and Novak Djokovic lost another one he "should" have won, because he is "supposed" to be the no. 2 ranked player in the world.
Heck, he is supposed to be pretty darn good.
After the match, Djokovic made some interesting comments, stating that he was in fact trying in the match, and that Rochus was just the better player today.
Playing down the loss seems a bit strange, because a pattern is developing in Novak Djokovic's career, and the fact that alarm bells aren't ringing is disturbing.
Sure, it was just one loss in a Masters 1000 event, but it was the 1st round and Djokovic is rapidly building a reputation as an underachiever.
He has failed to reach a Slam Final since winning the 2008 Australian Open. He has been losing more frequently to the top five players in the world, and as of late, has shown he is capable of losing to pretty much anybody at anytime in a tournament. This was evident in his 6-2, 6-7 (7), 6-4 loss Friday in the first round to Oliver Rochus at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Djokovic has had his fair share of dissapointing showings in Slams and other tournaments dating back to his only Slam title at the Aussie Open.
The man he beat in the Final, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, has owned him ever since.
Djokovic was forced to retire because of heat exhaustion against Andy Roddick in the Quarterfinals of the 2009 Australian Open.
His prospects at defending that title had looked pretty good until the heat index shot up and Djokovic's fitness, resolve, and belief that he could win that match shot down.
If you look at the last two years, Djokovic has certainly remained one of the best players in the game, but he is continuing to lose to most of the quality players he faces. He struggled to get wins against Federer, Nadal, Murray, and Roddick in 2009.
This year isn't starting much better.
Now, many are questioning his worthiness of a no. 2 ranking as well as his committment and motivation towards the game.
You can't blame them, his recent struggles have shown he just doesn't have that extra push.
Djokovic needs to regroup quickly or it won't be long before people give up on him.
Some already have.