Indian Wells 2024:Italian Lucky Loser Nardi Shocks Novak Djokovic

Indian Wells: Luca Nardi upsets Novak Djokovic at the ATP-WTA Indian Wells Masters, the Italian qualifier ranked 123rd globally, made headlines by defeating world number one Novak.

The victory marked the end of Djokovic’s 11-match winning streak at Masters events. Nardi, who idolized Djokovic since childhood, showcased remarkable composure, breaking Djokovic in the deciding set and clinching the match with a match point ace.

Indian Wells 2024:Italian Lucky Loser Nardi Shocks Novak Djokovic

At the ATP-WTA Indian Wells Masters on Monday, qualifying lucky loser Luca Nardi stunned world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to record the biggest victory of his young career.
At Masters tournaments, the world number 123 from Italy ended the veteran Serb’s 11-match winning streak. Nardi defeated the childhood tennis idol whose poster was hung above his bed when he was eight years old.

The 20-year-old did not let Djokovic‘s impressive game intimidate him, as he broke the Serbian player to take a 4-2 lead in the final set and then won three games later with a match point ace.

In less than two and a half hours, the Italian concluded with 36 wins and 41 unforced errors, while Djokovic made 31 mistakes.
After his victory, Nardi remarked in an on-court interview, “Before this night, no one knew me.” “I hope the crowd enjoyed the game; I’m super happy with this one.”

When asked how he managed to pull off his greatest career victory, Nardi said, “I’m not sure. It truly is a miracle, in my opinion. I’m a guy who wasn’t even in the top 100 in the world, and I’m already defeating Novak—this is absurd.” It was only after a withdrawal that Nardi made it to the Indian Wells main draw. David Goffin of Belgium had defeated him in the last qualifying round.

In the meantime, Djokovic blamed his loss on a rough day at work.
Djokovic remarked of Nardi, “He really didn’t have anything to lose because he got in as a lucky loser to the main draw.”

“He was worthy of victory. My level startled me even more. My performance was appallingly low. That’s how it works; he’s having a terrific day, and I’m having a terrible one.”

Also Read: Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Indian Wells 

In other matches on Monday, Holger Rune, ranked eighth, eventually onto the court following a first-round bye and an easy victory against an ailing Milos Raonic in the second round.

The 20-year-old Dane defeated Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) to start the competition off on the right foot.
Daniil Medvedev, ranked fourth, overcame Sebastian Korda 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in an unusual contest that had 31 break points, 15 of which were converted.

Due to more than 60 unintentional mistakes, Korda was only able to win 14 times. Next up for Medvedev is Grigor Dimitrov.
Casper Ruud, ranked seventh in Norway, defeated Arthur Fils of France 6-2, 6-4.

Gauff and Sabalenka Advances

In a match that Monfils won 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, the 36-year-old winner and the Briton played a massive 31 break points, ending Cameron Norrie’s tenure as the 2021 champion.

Tommy Paul, who will play Nardi next, defeated Dubai champion Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-4 to secure a victory at home.
Taylor Fritz overcame Sebastian Baez of Argentina, winning 6-2, 6-2.
Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff, the current women’s Grand Slam winners, advanced to the fourth round of the women’s tournament with tough straight-set victories.

However, Naomi Osaka, the 2018 event winner and previous number one, was unable to join them. Elise Mertens, who will now face Gauff, defeated Osaka 7-5, 6-4.

In the decisive game, the Belgian advanced on her second match point after drawing an error from Osaka and saved three break points.
After having birth, Osaka, a four-time major winner, is returning to tennis this season. Double Sabalenka had earlier upset Emma Raducanu 6-3, 7-5, but it took three more opportunities to win after she double-failed on a match point.

“I was super-happy to close this match in two sets; the last game was tight,” Sabalenka stated. “If I had lost that game it would give her emotionally much more belief and confidence – going to the tiebreak you never know, it’s 50/50.”

Gauff, who won the US Open in September of last year as a teenager, defeated Lucia Bronzetti 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) to win the tiebreaker with the least amount of drama.

The 20-year-old US Open champion defeated an Italian opponent six times in a row on Wednesday.
“She performed incredibly well,” Bronzetti’s winner remarked. “But I performed a lot better than I did in my previous game; I get better every time.”

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