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Novak Djokovic Suffers Horror Defeat At Monte Carlo Masters

Ryan Rosendale

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Novak Djokovic Suffers Horror Defeat At Monte Carlo Masters

2022 just keeps going from bad to worse for Novak Djokovic.

The world number one lost his opening match at the Monte Carlo Masters in just his second tournament of the year following a highly publicised Covid-19 vaccine drama in Australia in January.

Novak Djokovic. Credit: Getty Images
Novak Djokovic. Credit: Getty Images

The world number one went down 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 to 46th-ranked Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round after dropping his serve nine times in a rusty performance.

In the most staggering loss of his professional career, it's the first time ever Djokovic has been broken nine times in a best-of-three match.

"I was hanging on the ropes the entire match. I was really chasing the result constantly," Djokovic said post-match, whose only other appearance in 2022 was in Dubai in February where he played just three matches.

"I didn't like the way I felt physically in the third (set). I just ran out of gas completely. I just couldn't really stay in the rally with him. If you can't stay in the rally, not feeling your legs on the clay, it's mission impossible."

Djokovic admitted that the first four months of 2022 had been "difficult, mentally and emotionally" after he was sensationally deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open due to his vaccine status and the uncertainty surrounding it.

The result was a huge turnaround for Fokina, who had lost both previous meetings to Djokovic in straight sets, including at the Tokyo Olympics last year, but he raced into a 4-1 lead and took the first set.

The loss marks the first time Djokovic has lost his opening match at a tournament since falling to Martin Klizan at Barcelona four years ago.

"I expected this match to be a really tough match, a physical battle, and that's what it was. Unfortunately, I'm on the shorter end of the stick, and my week ends here.

"I have never played very well in the opening tournaments of the clay season. But it's okay. Obviously, it is what it is. I have to accept the defeat and keep working."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Novak Djokovic, Australia

Ryan Rosendale
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