Top-ranked Djokovic loses to Evans at Monte Carlo Masters for 1st defeat this year
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Austria's Dominic Thiem in the men's singles final of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, April 15, 2021 10:14AM EDT
MONACO -- 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.
"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."
Evans will play his first Masters quarterfinal against 11th-seeded David Goffin, who upset fifth-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 7-6 (7).
Goffin saved all six break points he faced and broke the imposing German's serve once.
In other third-round play, Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced 6-3, 6-4 against Cristian Garin and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat wild card Lucas Pouille 6-2, 7-6 (2).
Later Thursday, 11-time champion Rafael Nadal faces Grigor Dimitrov in their 15th meeting, with Nadal holding a 13-1 lead.