Musetti Causes Major Upset, Sends Djokovic Packing at Monte Carlo Masters

Novak Djokovic was supposed to send Lorenzo Musetti packing. However, it was the 21-year-old who earned passage to the quarter-finals at the Serbian’s expense.

Djokovic could not find his rhythm in the duel, matching Musetti’s six aces with the same number of double faults. Moreover, the world number 1 allowed 14 breakpoints in the game and was unable to only capture 12 of the 31 second serve points.

Despite not having the best of days on the clay court, the 35-year-old showed his doggedness by delaying the inevitable. He saved four matchpoints before Musetti finally dragged over him. This is the Italian’s first win over him in five attempts.

No joy for two-time champion

The last time Djokovic triumphed at Monte Carlo Masters was back in 2015. He has struggled at the event on his last eight attempts. The Serbian has now suffered a third successive early loss in the competition.

With Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz missing, Djokovic had a good chance to return to winning ways on the clay court. He was visibly upset with his performance and did not shy away from voicing his emotions. However, he was gracious to his rival in defeat and praise Musetti for a good performance.

“I don’t think it’s catastrophic, but my feeling is bad right now because I lost the match,” Djokovic remarked. “That’s all. Congrats to my opponent. I move on.

“Well, my feeling is terrible after playing like this, honestly, but congrats to him.

“He stayed tough in important moments, and that’s it. That’s all I can say. Good luck to him.

“You always hope for the good day in the office, but yeah, I know I’m not playing so great and he’s playing very well, so I knew it was going to be a tough match.”

Musetti over the moon

This was Djokovic’s first appearance on the court after missing out on Indian Wells and Miami Open. The Serbian ace’s coronavirus vaccination status did not allow him entry into the US and his plea for special consideration was rejected.

The top seed had a sleeve on his right arm, which indicated of an injury that hampered his performance. Djokovic was reluctant to talk about it as he handed over the quarter-final slot to Musetti.

The Italian had no qualms in sharing how over the moon he was. Their duel lasted for two hours and 54 minutes, a long enough toil for Musetti to get a win over the great Serbian.

“I am struggling not to cry,” Musetti shared during his on-court interview.

“It is an emotional win because it was a really long match. Three-hour match and was suspended by rain.

“It was not easy conditions because it was a little bit windy and cold – not like we used to play in recent days.

“I am really proud of myself. I am struggling not to cry because it is a dream for me. Beating Novak is something remarkable for me.”

Lorenzo Musetti

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