Monte Carlo (Monaco): Defending champion Novak Djokovic was stunned 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 by Czech Jiri Vesely, the world 55, in yesterday’s second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Novak Djokovic reacts after losing a point to Jiri Vesely at the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco yesterday. Pics/AFP
Djokovic, winner of two of the last three editions in the Principality and the player who has dominated the ATP rankings over the past two seasons, was unable to mount a recovery against an opponent who got the upper hand by winning the opening set.
Djokovic came to the court with 22 consecutive wins in Masters 1000 play, with his last defeat coming in August in Cincinnati against Roger Federer. The world number one had won his last 14 matches and holds four titles already in 2016, including the US Masters double from last month in Indian Wells and Miami.
Victor: Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely
Federer in third round
Meanwhile, Roger Federer looked like he had never been away as he returned from injury to beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4. Federer’s last competitive match had been his defeat to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open almost 11 weeks ago, after which he underwent surgery on his left knee for a meniscus tear.
Federer took just 75 minutes to book his place in the third round and lost his serve only once when leading 5-2 in the second set. Andy Murray also made it through to round three but not without trouble as he was taken to three sets by Frenchman
Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Murray is hoping to recover his rhythm following surprise defeats to Grigor Dimitrov and Federico Delbonis last month, but the British number one was made to work hard before winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.