Dhe world number one Novak Djokovic has botched his return to the tennis tour. In Monte Carlo on Tuesday, the Serb surprisingly lost against the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in three sets 3: 6, 7: 6 (7: 5), 1: 6 and was eliminated in his first match. In the first round, Djokovic had a bye.
In his first match since the quarter-finals in Dubai at the end of February, the 20-time Grand Slam tournament winner was far from his best form. With 45 mistakes, the number one in the world presented itself far too error-prone. Nine times he was ranked 46th in the world. Davidovich Fokina taking the serve.
After losing the first set, Djokovic was twice behind with a break in the back and forth in the second section. Although the favorite then saved himself in the decisive third set, he couldn’t turn the game around. On the contrary: The set went to the Spaniard without much resistance, after 2:54 hours the game was over.
“It will take some time and some matches to really get going,” Djokovic previously admitted. “The past four or five months have been really challenging for me, mentally and emotionally.” Due to the lack of vaccination against the corona virus, Djokovic was not allowed to take part in the hard court tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami in the USA.
He was unable to start at the Australian Open at the beginning of the season and had to leave Melbourne again in January after a legal tug of war. His only tournament before Monte Carlo this year was in Dubai. In Monte Carlo, after Djokovic’s exit, Alexander Zverev from Hamburg is the highest-ranked player in the field.
Olympic champion Zverev will face Argentinian Federico Delbonis on Wednesday. Despite his early failure in Monte Carlo, Djokovic will not lose his lead in the world rankings. Second-placed Daniil Medvedev is currently sidelined with a hernia. Whether the Russian will be fit for the French Open (May 22 to June 5) is at least questionable.