Djokovic immediately out in the Principality
Nightmare return for Novak Djokovic to Monte Carlo. The world no.1 was incredibly defeated by the Spanish Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in three sets, 6-3 6-7 6-1 the score of the match. Djokovic has paid dearly for his long absence from tournaments: he had been stopped since last February when he lost in the quarterfinals in Dubai to Vesely. For his “known” anti-vaccine positions, he missed the American trip and He arrived in the Principality with a good physical condition but very uncertain in terms of tennis. Too many mistakes, some incredible (even in an open field a stone’s throw from the net), little intensity, very little confidence and feeling with the pitch and with the exchange. A very aggressive and proactive Davidovich Fokina defeated him by pressing him from start to finish.
In the brawl of the second set, it was serious for Djokovic to have served to win the second set at 5-4, but he made mistakes, while the Iberian pushed with great courage going beyond his own insecurities. He was saved at tibreak Novak, but then in the third there was no match, immediately under and never really competitive. From the third set, the number 1 appeared in physical difficulty, unable to contain the frenzied thrust of his rival, making many mistakes in all phases of the game.
A defeat that complicates even more the season of “Nole”. His need to play games is evident to regain a good condition. He will not be able to do it in this tournament, we do not know how many others he will be able to play.
In the first set Djokovic immediately saves two break points in the very first game and gives up his service in the third, too many uncertainties and a great boost from ADF. Novak suffers a double break, for 1-4, but resumes a game in response bringing him 2-4 (badly Davidovich, even a double foul). He closes the Iberian 6-3 in the ninth game, with the third break of the set, against a really faded and foul Djokovic even in very normal rallies, the ones he usually plays on autopilot.
The second set is a continuous roller coaster. Djokovic goes down 0-30, fails to break the counter break in the third game by not exploiting any of the 5 break points obtained, with the Spaniard devoured by tension. Then a series of breaks and counter breaks, with a disastrous play by Davidovich in the ninth game (3 double fouls!), Who sends the expert rival to serve for the set. But Novak can’t play his best tennis. He is hesitant, makes mistakes and lets himself be attacked instead of imposing his own class, presence and experience. We go to the tiebreak, the movie of the match does not seem to change. Davidovich sprints fast, moves forward 3-1. Djokovic is back down, up to 5 all. Long exchange, Alejandro’s arm stiffens and sticks with the forehand. 6-5 and Set Point Djokovic, in response. A daring point arrives, the number 1 closes it with a comfortable passer-by right. 7-6 Djokovic, we go to the third.
When the game seems to be turned on the side of the Serbian, Novak instead collapses, as tennis and as a body (and head). He starts the third set badly, immediately giving up the service game (with a double fault). The Iberian does not let himself be prayed for; he starts to push hard again, goes close to breaking the double break (he does not transform 3 break points) and then he is very good at canceling the ball of the counter break to Djokovic, taking 3-1. The game of # 1 actually ends on the untransformed chance. Collapses in the thrust, mistakes, while the hammering of Davidovich Fokina is pressing, as in the first set. Novak lost the fifth game to 30, ending up 1-4 down, and then he also loses the last turn of service at the second match ball. An absolutely deserved victory for Alejandro, good at pushing and taking great risks throughout the match, finding very high performance peaks (and even some played as a true tightrope walker). On the other hand, Djokovic’s performance is very bad, very far from the best days. Playing so little, how will he find her?