Decidedly, nothing is going well between Novak Djokovic and Monte-Carlo. On the Rock, he has not gone beyond the quarter-finals since his last title in 2015, and this 2023 edition will be no different. The world number 1, lacking sensations and rhythm, was thus overthrown by Lorenzo Musetti, 21st player in the world, with the score of 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in 2h54 of play on the Rainier-III court. , in a round of 16 which was interrupted for almost an hour by the rain. For a place in the last four, the young Italian will cross swords with his compatriot Jannik Sinner.
He had warned when approaching this week of resumption of competition: the passage on clay always represents the greatest challenge of the season for Novak Djokovic. And the facts have again confirmed the statements of the Serb this Thursday on the ocher of Monte-Carlo. He will need patience, a few more matches, days or even weeks to reach his best level on the surface. Lorenzo Musetti exposed his flaws of the moment in a match during which the world number 1 will also have led by a set and a break 6-4, 4-2.
Musetti attacks the Djokovic mountain again
A DAY AGO
9 breaks in a crazy second set
Sporting an unusual protective sleeve on his right arm (to relieve his elbow perhaps), Djokovic never fully found his rhythm, the wind not helping. But he seemed to be doing enough to be in control, exploiting the opposing mistakes and lack of lucidity during the first part of this duel. But as the finish line got closer, he lost track of his percentage tennis and no longer mastered the crazy scenario of this turning point second round. In all, the two men thus accumulated 9 breaks in 12 games, Musetti having the last word by seizing the opposing service a fifth time at 5-5 to make the decision and reset the counters to zero (4-6, 7 -5).
Djokovic takes the referee on a foul ball… And he’s right!
Index of Djokovic’s state of nervousness during this sequence: his spat with the referee Aurélie Tourte while he was still leading 4-3 (Musetti service) in this famous second set. The world number 1 was right: the referee had made the wrong mark on a long fault by the Italian. But it was only the first point of the game and the Serb had a hard time regaining his concentration, committing no less than 21 unforced errors in this round (46 in total!). In this context, one would have thought that the arrival of the rain would allow him to put his ideas back in place. Despite his experience, nothing happened.
Musetti handled the interruption like an old veteran
Completely revived, galvanized by the turn of events and the many Italian supporters, Musetti showed his best side on the restart. By alternating large backhand lifts in the diagonal and grazing slices, he cut Djokovic’s legs and rhythm. Sensing the golden opportunity presenting itself, the Italian engaged like never before in the forehand, like a winning cross return to obtain three break points at 3-3, then seize an 8th and last time from the opposing service.
And if he seemed to tremble on his first two missed match points, he was able to pull himself together immediately to achieve the third. After a failed start to the season, this is a great way to get back on track. This one, Musetti will remember.
The debate: Rune-Alcaraz-Sinner, the future Big 3?
YESTERDAY AT 8:11 PM
Hooked but studious, Djokovic is launched
04/11/2023 At 4:02 PM