Novak Djokovic admitted he was "not having a great season at all" after he was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters by Casper Ruud in the semi-finals.

The 10th-ranked Norwegian beat the world number one 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 for a first win in six attempts against the record 24-time Grand Slam title winner.

Djokovic insisted, however, that he won't panic despite seeing a golden opportunity to go on capture a 41st Masters title snatched away by a player he swept off court in the French Open final last year.

"There are positives to take away for sure, but I'm used to a really high standard in terms of expectations and results," said 36-year-old Djokovic.

"Not having a title is -- compared to the last 15 years -- not a great season at all."

Djokovic has played in only four events this season but expects to pick up his pace as his clay court campaign heads to Madrid and Rome before a return to Roland Garros.

He arrived in Monte Carlo having skipped Miami after a shock loss to 123rd-ranked Luca Nardi at the Indian Wells Masters.

"I had semis in Australia, the semis here. It's normal to expect that you have some seasons where you don't start well - this is the one," he added.

"Hopefully, I can pick up. In terms of results, I can build from here.

"I've played some good tennis. Hopefully, in the next tournaments I'll be able to play even better."

Ruud will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's title match in Monte Carlo after the Greek beat Australian Open champion and world number two Jannik Sinner in his semi-final