Djokovic suffers first defeat of 2021 at Monte Carlo Masters

The Serbian lost to Dan Evans of Great Britain in the third round of the tournament in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.

Novak Djokovic plays a backhand during his match against Dan Evans on Thursday-GETTY IMAGES

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic lost 6-4, 7-5 to Dan Evans on Thursday in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters for his first defeat of the year.

The Australian Open champion was 10-0 coming into the match, but faced pressure from the outset as he trailed 3-0 to the unseeded British player in their first meeting.

Djokovic dropped his serve five times in windy conditions. Evans, after breaking for a 6-5 lead, clinched victory on his first match point with a forehand winner that clipped the net.

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“It probably hasn't sunk in yet, I couldn't quite believe that last ball went over the net. It nearly didn't," Evans said.

"It’s clearly a big win. That's the biggest thing, you've got to believe you can win. Serving it out isn't easy, you've got all these things going through your head," he added.

Evans will play his first Masters quarterfinal against 11th-seeded David Goffin, who upset fifth-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 7-6 (7).

Disappointed Djokovic hopes to bounce back

Following the defeat to Evans, Djokovic said that it was one of his worst performance in several years.

"To be honest, this has been probably one of the worst matches and performances from my side I can recall in the last years," Djokovic told reporters.

"I don't want to take anything away from his win, but from my side, I just felt awful on the court overall. Just nothing worked. It's one of those days.

"From my side, I definitely should have done better. As I said, definitely that's been one of the worst performances I can remember in many years," he added.

The Serbian hoped to bounce back at the Belgrade tournament, post this defeat at Monte Carlo.

"Obviously right now, as I walk off the court, I'm disappointed with the way I played, the way I felt on the court. But it's a long clay season. Still plenty of tournaments, plenty of room to improve.

"Obviously I have to work, hopefully get a better performance next week in Belgrade." he said.


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