Out against number 123

Djokovic furious: “Are you trying to******* me?”

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12.03.2024 09:28

Novak Djokovic surprisingly lost 4:6, 6:3 and 3:6 to the Italian Luca Nardi (ATP no. 123) in the second round of the Indian Wells Masters. The 36-year-old had previously had a heated discussion with umpire Greg Allensworth.

What had happened? After around an hour of play, Nardi had briefly stopped his body movement at 3:6, 2:0 from the Serb's point of view, but still played the ball over the net.

Luca Nardi (l.) and Novak Djokovic (Bild: APA/Getty Images via AFP/GETTY IMAGES/MATTHEW STOCKMAN)
Luca Nardi (l.) and Novak Djokovic

Rallies aborted?
Djokovic returned the ball in irritation, but then stopped his game on the assumption that his opponent had already wanted to stop the rally. Referee Allenswort probably saw it differently, however, and awarded the point to Nardi, while Djokovic raged.

"Just because he stopped doesn't mean the point has stopped," the referee tried to calm the angry Serb down. To no avail, the tennis world number one replied perplexed: "Are you kidding me or what?" What followed was a one-minute discussion, which, however, did not end as Djokovic had hoped and the 24-time Grand Slam winner finally relented. He was still able to win the set, but the match went to the 20-year-old Italian in three sets. "He had nothing to lose and that's why he played great. I was more surprised by my game. It was very bad," said the "Djoker", who was anything but satisfied with his performance.

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