Novak Djokovic is ready to start his Monte Carlo campaign in the round of 32 against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Djokovic will start the clay season at Monaco’s Monte Carlo Country Club on April 12. In this flashback to 2018, let’s take a look at one of Djokovic’s most shocking defeats in Monte Carlo at the hands of Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem. The Serbian and the Austrian played in the third round, where the latter managed to win in two hours and 29 minutes. Thiem scored a 6-7, 6-4, and 6-3 to secure a victory against Djokovic, denying the tennis enthusiasts a Djokovic vs. Federer at Monte Carlo.
Dominic met Federer in the quarter-finals. He had won only three games in the Principality before 2018. However, the Austrian played well against Djokovic to enter the last eight. It was quite tough for Thiem to battle against Novak, who gave the Austrian a tough fight. But, Dominic lost only one serve. The Serbian made an impressive comeback during the opening set, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a defeat against the Austrian. Nole lost the service twice in the second and third set, handing over the victory to Thiem. The Austrian won against Novak for the second time in a row after Roland Garros in 2017. Thiem earned the victory through 36 winners and 33 unforced errors.
Meanwhile, Novak was left with a 20-40 ratio after struggling with his backshots. Djokovic had a slight edge in the shortest rallies up to four strokes. But, Thiem attained the lead in the mid-range. Thiem remained at love with a forehand winner during the opening game. He broke Djokovic’s serve with another powerful forehand during the second game.
Dominic Won Over Djokovic In Three Sets At Monte Carlo:
Djokovic saved a set point on serve with an outstanding volley at 2-5. The Serb denied Dominic on two more occasions but ultimately, the Austrian hit a smash long. Djokovic had the advantage, and he took a tiebreaker 7-2 with five mini-breaks.
After a weak backhand from Novak, Dominic cemented a break by hitting a forehand winner and moved 4-2 up. Novak sacrificed the set to save energy for the final one. After Djokovic netted a backhand in game seven, Dominic won a serve to fall behind by 5-2. The Austrian made no mistakes and won the set with a hold at 15, as the game went into a decider. Novak struggled to up the ante physically against a younger adversary.
Thiem turned the game in his favor after getting a break which pushed him 4-3 ahead. Dominic secured his win with an ace during the eighth game. The final game proved to be the longest encounter between the two opponents. Unfortunately, the Nole was down by three points, and a backhand error cost him the match. Dominic won the match and booked a place in the final eight against Rafael Nadal.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is returning to the tennis world after a few months, where he had to face a lot of criticism for his stand on vaccination. He was deported from Australia just before the Australian Open. The absence in Melbourne allowed Rafael Nadal to clinch his 21st Grand Slam in January. The Serb was denied entry to the US, costing him the Indian Wells and Miami Open. Thus, Nole would be looking to make a strong comeback at the Monte Carlo ahead of the French Open and Wimbledon. Novak is the favorite to win the Monte Carlo. However, he might get some tough competition from the young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. Hopefully, Nole will win at Monte Carlos and prepare to equalize Nadal with another Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros.