There was a massive upset at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters on Wednesday as defending champion Novak Djokovic was beaten in three sets by World No 55 Jiri Vesely.
The top-ranked Serb suffered only his second defeat of the season, going down 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in just over two hours.
It marks Djokovic’s earliest exit on the ATP World Tour in three years, and his first loss against a player ranked outside the top 50 since a 2010 defeat to Xavier Malisse.
It also brings to an end a run of nine victories in the past 10 tournaments for the 28-year-old. He was forced to retire against Feliciano Lopez due to an eye problem in the only event he did not win in Dubai.
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) April 13, 2016
Djokovic appeared to have suffered only a minor blip when he lost the first set to Vesely, going on a four-game winning run in the second to level the scores at one set apiece.
But Vesely did not capitulate in the third set. The Czech player didn’t face a single break point in the decider, and left his opponent realing after taking a 0-40 lead at 4-5.
Djokovic saved two of those break points, but he could not save the third, and Vesely held his nerve to close out the stunning win.
He moves on to face Gael Monfils next.
Sixth seed Tomas Berdych also went down on Wednesday, suffering a 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 6-3 loss to Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur.
Elsewhere, Rafael Nadal comfortably beat Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-3, while Milos Raonic held off Pablo Cuevas 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5).
Stan Wawrinka also advanced, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 over Phillip Kohlschreiber.