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12 Apr, 2022 17:58

Djokovic shocked in Monte Carlo return

The Serbian world number one was defeated by Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the Monte Carlo Masters
Djokovic shocked in Monte Carlo return

Novak Djokovic didn't have the return to the ATP Tour that perhaps he might have been expecting as he was defeated in three sets by the unfancied Spanish player Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the Monte Carlo Masters.

Playing for the first time since February after he bowed out of US hard court events due to Covid-19 vaccination requirements, Djokovic was beaten two sets to one by Davidovich Fokina in a match which clocked in at just less than three hours and ended 6-3 6-7(5) 6-1.

Djokovic's usually imperious serve was broken on nine occasions and he faced an incredible 40 break points throughout the match as he lost to the world number 46.

The Serb, a two-time winner in Monte Carlo, lost the first set and had his work cut out for him in the second when his serve was broken early on.

Davidovich Fokina appeared to injure himself later in the second when he stretched to reach a return, after which Djokovic fired 10 successive points past him as he seized momentum.

However, top seed Djokovic appeared to labor late on in the second set and allowed his opponent to reach a tiebreak - which Djokovic ultimately won and forced the match into a deciding third set.

But after overcoming a 4-2 deficit in the tiebreak, Djokovic again stumbled in the third set where he was blitzed by Davidovich Fokina in the final set.

The defeat compounds what has been a disappointing year thus far for Djokovic. He created headlines across the globe when he was deported ahead of the Australian Open in January and has been largely inactive in 2022, briefly surrendering his world number one status to Russia's Daniil Medvedev.

He also lost out to rival Rafael Nadal in the race to become the first men's player to secure 21 Grand Slam wins, with Nadal achieving that at Australian Open where Djokovic has been dominant for the best part of a decade.

And it was another Spaniard, this time Davidovich Fokina, who became the latest obstacle in Djokovic's quest to be remembered as the finest player of his generation. 

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