Djokovic Suffers Biggest Upset of 2024 In Indian Wells After Heated Row With Umpire

Djokovic Suffers Biggest Upset of 2024 In Indian Wells After Heated Row With Umpire

by Jordan Reynolds

Last updated

Novak Djokovic is out of the Indian Wells Open after losing an incredible match to Luca Nardi, which included some controversy Djokovic was unhappy about.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion won his first match since the Australian Open in his previous contest in Indian Wells. With this, Djokovic became the second player to 400 Masters 1000 wins, showing the incredible standards he has set.

Although he is a perfectionist, Djokovic has spoken about trying to enjoy himself more on court. This attitude comes with the experience that he has built through the years.

Many will have expected Djokovic to enjoy himself against Nardi. The Italian is the world No. 123 and is only in the draw as a lucky loser, after originally losing in the qualifying stages of the event.

However, what transpired was one of the biggest upsets of Djokovic's illustrious career. Nardi played tennis that was scarcely believable at times to pull off a massive shock in California.

Nardi played phenomenally from the outset. Two things stood out. Firstly, his huge forehand that hit so many winners. Secondly, some absolutely delightful net-play that caught Djokovic out so many times.

The Italian made his move in the fifth game of the opening set. It was the only game with break points in set 1, but Djokovic could not see off the danger. He was broken after outstanding shots from Nardi, who won the opening set 6-4.

As expected, Djokovic responded. He broke Nardi in the third game of the second set. However, controversy then arose in the following game, which left the Serbian furious.

With Djokovic break point down, Nardi seemed to think for a moment that Djokovic's second serve was out and stopped briefly, before resuming. Djokovic played an attempted drop-volley, but Nardi won the point and the game with a passing shot.

Djokovic argued that it should have been called as a hindrance because Nardi stopped. The umpire felt that stopping for a brief moment and then continuing like that is not enough for a player to lose a point.

The 36-year-old continued to argue his case for a while, before eventually going to his chair. But that argument only seemed to inspire him. Djokovic broke again and took the set 6-3.

Many will have expected Nardi to wilt after that, but the opposite happened. The Italian began to hit the ball even harder, strike more winners and continue to show glorious feel at the net.

Djokovic saved three break points to hold his opening service game, but Nardi just kept on coming. The tennis legend was uncharacteristically overwhelmed from the baseline and got broken in the sixth game to leave the score at 4-2.

The world No. 1 did not come close to fighting back after that. Nardi sealed the biggest win of his life with remarkable composure. The final score of this memorable encounter was 6-4 3-6 6-3 to the world No. 123.


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