Medvedev Upsets Djokovic To Reach Monte Carlo Semi-Finals

Daniil Medvedev (photo: Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters)

MONTE CARLO, April 19, 2019

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in Friday’s quarterfinals in three sets by Daniil Medvedev. The top seed lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the Principality of Monaco to suffer his first defeat against the Russian 10th seed in four meetings.

Medvedev capitalized on five of his 10 break point chances to celebrate his 21st match win of the season after two hours and 20 minutes.

“It’s definitely the best match of my career. Not in terms of level of tennis, but definitely by the result. [It’s my] first Masters 1000 semi-final, beating No. 1 for the first time in my life,” Medvedev said, as quoted on the ATP Tour website. “[It’s] just amazing.”

Djokovic has now failed to reach the stage of the final four in his last three tournaments at Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo.

“[The] French Open is the ultimate goal on clay… for sure, it’s expected in a way for me to peak right at that tournament, because that’s what I’m aiming for,” two-time Monte Carlo champion Djokovic was quoted on the ATP Tour website. “This is only the first tournament on clay, and it’s a long season. Let’s see how it goes.”

Next up for Medvedev will be Dusan Lajovic of Serbia. The 28-year-old Belgrade native defeated Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 7-5. Lajovic, yet to drop a set this week, won 55 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 47 minutes. The World No. 48 has become the lowest-ranked semi-finalist in Monte Carlo since 2005 (No. 69 Juan Carlos Ferrero and No. 101 Richard Gasquet).

Nadal remains on course for 12th title in Monaco

Later in the afternoon, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal improves to 48-2 against fellow left-handers on clay, defeating Guido Pella of Argentina 7-6(1), 6-3 to reach his 14th semi-final in Monte Carlo in the last 15 years.

The 32-year-old Spaniard sent down four aces, winning 58 per cent of his first service points to finish the encounter after two hours and 20 minutes.

“It was a very tough first set physically and mentally, too. Losing the first three games with my serve was tough. But I found a way at the right time,” Nadal was quoted on the ATP Tour website. “I was lucky at 4-1, he had two points to be 5-1 and with 5-1 it’s almost impossible. I was lucky to escape that moment and then I played better… I’m very happy to be through. Being in the semi-finals again here means a lot to me.”

Nadal will next be challenged by Fabio Fognini, who advanced to his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in six years. The 31-year-old Italian rallied past Borna Coric of Croatia 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. Fognini saved five of the eight break points he faced, capitalizing on four of his own six chances to secure victory in just under two hours of play.