World number one Novak Djokovic suffered a shocking defeat on Thursday in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters at the hands of Lorenzo Musetti. The Italian staged an impressive comeback victory in windy conditions, winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Djokovic had comfortably taken the first set, but Musetti refused to go down without a fight and leveled the topsy-turvy encounter in the second set. Despite a lengthy halt in play due to rain, Musetti maintained his momentum and took advantage of a weak serving performance from Djokovic to break and secure the win.
Musetti reflects on tough physical battle and historic victory against Djokovic: “It was a really long match, played in difficult conditions with wind and cold. The rallies were grueling, but I’m immensely proud of myself. Beating Novak is a remarkable achievement for me.
Musetti will now face fellow Italian Jannik Sinner, who beat Hubert Hurkacz in a hard-fought 3-6 7-6(6) 6-1 victory.
Meanwhile, Russian Daniil Medvedev continued his impressive form this season, recovering from a set down to beat Alexander Zverev in a thrilling 3-6 7-5 7-6(7) victory. Medvedev saved two match points in a dramatic tiebreak to claim his 31st win of 2023. “It was an insane match,” stated Medvedev. On two occasions, he had the chance to serve for the match, but as we know, clay courts can be unpredictable. You can make a comeback at any given moment.”
Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas also advanced to the quarter-finals, extending his winning streak to 12 matches with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Nicolas Jarry. Russian Andrey Rublev triumphed over his fellow countryman Karen Khachanov in a 7-6(4) 6-2 victory, while American player Taylor Fritz emerged victorious against Jiri Lehecka after a grueling three-set match.
In a surprise upset, German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff stunned fourth seed Casper Ruud 6-1 7-6(6), ending the Estoril champion’s nine-match winning streak on clay stretching back to last July.
Matteo Berrettini, the Italian player, withdrew from the match against sixth seed Holger Rune due to an abdominal injury, thereby advancing the Danish teenager to the quarter-finals.
The Monte Carlo Masters is one of the most prestigious men’s tennis tournaments and part of the ATP Tour Masters 1000 series. It is held annually at the Monte Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, and features some of the best players in the world competing on clay courts.