Novak Djokovic’s return to tennis after two months off court turned into a disaster on Thursday as the world No. 1 was hammered out of the Monte Carlo Masters 6-4, 7-5 by Dan Evans.
The 33rd-ranked British underdog who won a minor 250 title at the start of the season, earned the biggest scalp of his career in little more than two hours.
Evans claimed the opening set, came from a break down in the second and broke Djokovic in the penultimate game to turn the top seed’s clay start into dust.
Djokovic, a two-time champion at his “home” event, had lost two other finals in the principality to 11-time winner Rafael Nadal.
Evans, who can often appear a tennis hard man, went into the battle with a grudge over what he considered pre-match antics by his celebrated opponent.
“He kept me waiting at the start of the match in the changing room. It was a little annoying. That got me a little extra fired up,” he told British TV.
Djokovic was congratulatory: “He deserved to win. He was a better player. Just more focused I guess and played with a better quality in the decisive moments.
“To be honest, this was probably one of the worst matches and performances from my side (that) I can recall in the last years.
“I don’t want to take anything away from his win, but I just felt awful on the court overall. Just nothing worked. It’s one of those days.”
Main photo:- Dan Evans on his way to victory in Monte Carlo – by ATPTour.com