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Djokovic bundled out in Monte Carlo; Nadal rips foe
Rafael Nadal
AFP

Djokovic bundled out in Monte Carlo; Nadal rips foe

(Agence France-Presse) - April 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday following an “awful performance” in a 6-4, 7-5 defeat by Dan Evans, while 11-time champion Rafael Nadal powered into the quarterfinals.

World number one Djokovic was broken five times by the Briton in their last-16 clash and suffered his first loss of the year, having won the Australian Open for the ninth time in February.

The 33rd-ranked Evans, who dumped out this month’s Miami Open winner Hubert Hurkacz in the previous round, will play 11th seed David Goffin for a place in the semi-finals.

Goffin beat US Open runner-up Alexander Zverev 6-4, 7-6 (9/7) earlier in the day.

An out-of-sorts Djokovic produced an uncharacteristic 45 unforced errors against Evans, who hadn’t won a tour-level match on clay since April 2017 before this week.

Nadal required just 55 minutes to demolish Bulgarian 14th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 6-1.

“(I am) sorry for him. He played a bad match. That is the truth,” Nadal said of his opponent.        (AFP)

who was struggling with severe toothache.

“He made a lot of mistakes. I was there. I was doing the right thing, but it is true that today was more his fault than my good tennis.”

The third-ranked Spaniard is the highest seed left in the draw following Djokovic’s loss and the withdrawal of Daniil Medvedev after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Nadal will meet Andrey Rublev or Roberto Bautista Agut in the next round.

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Chile’s Cristian Garin in straight sets.

The Greek will next take on Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who put out French wildcard Lucas Pouille.

Fabio Fognini, the 2019 champion, eased past Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 7-6 (7/1).

NOVAK DJOKOVIC
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