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Other SportsDjokovic beaten by Nardi as poor form continues

Djokovic beaten by Nardi as poor form continues

Luca Nardi described his win over Novak Djokovic as a “miracle” after seeing off the world number one in Indian Wells.

Nardi, who entered the desert event as a lucky loser, beat the five-time champion 6-4 3-6 6-3. The world number 123 is the lowest-ranked player to beat Djokovic at ATP 1000 Masters or grand slam level.

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After a sluggish start, Djokovic claimed the second set to level the match and the expectation was he would go on to secure another routine triumph. Nardi had other ideas, however, and a break at 3-2 proved decisive.

“I don’t know [how I held my nerve],” he said. “I think it is a miracle, because I am a 20-year-old guy, 100 in the world, and beating Novak. It’s crazy.”

Nardi admitted he had claimed inspiration from Jannik Sinner’s win over Djokovic at the Australian Open as his fellow Italian claimed the season’s first grand slam title.

“For sure I’m watching Jannik winning all the matches,” added Nardi.

“For sure it’s something that pushed me to be better. I didn’t expect to win today, but I always try to do my best in practice, and this happened and I’m really happy.”

The defeat will add weight to the suggestion that Djokovic’s powers are on the wane.

The 24-time grand slam winner, now 36, has failed to impress in 2024. A straight-sets defeat to Alex De Minaur at the United Cup in Perth in January set the tone and his lack of dominance in Melbourne, where he failed to land an 11th Australian Open title, was another indicator.

His second round win in Indian Wells wasn’t without its travails either – requiring three sets to see off Aleksandar Vukic.

“No titles this year. That’s not something I’m used to,” said the Serb.

“I was starting the season most of my career with a grand slam win or Dubai win. It’s fine. It’s part of the sport. You just have to accept it. Some you win, some you lose.

“Hopefully I’ll win some more and still keep going. I guess every trophy that eventually comes my way is going to be great, to break the kind of negative cycle a little bit I’m having in the last three, four tournaments where I haven’t really been close to my best.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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