Djokovic’s woes continue, Cilic advances

An out-of-form Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the Miami Open following his second round loss to Benoit Paire on Friday.

The former world number one had few answers to Paire’s accurate serve, going down 6-3, 6-4 in just 68 minutes on the hard courts of the Florida city.

Djokovic’s usually sharp return game was nowhere to be seen, as he managed to conjure up just a single breakpoint opportunity the entire match. 

The Frenchman reeled off the final three games of the opening set to take a seemingly unlikely lead, but Djokovic didn’t fire in the second set either. Paire kept his cool to break the Serb and go 4-2 up. Djokovic would take advantage of his only breakpoint to break back, but Paire would win the final game to love.

Djokovic’s loss sees his 2018 win/loss record move to 3-2. The 12-time grand slam champion’s last title came in July at the lowly ATP 250 event in Eastbourne.

Meanwhile, second seed Marin Cilic won 85% of his first serve points in a routine 7-5, 6-3 win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert. The Croat, whose form has seen him move to number three in the world, broke Herbert four times and dropped just one service game in the victory. 

Elsewhere, Joao Sousa breezed past seventh seed David Goffin 6-0, 6-1 in just 62 minutes and in another upset, 12th seed Roberto Bautista Agut was sent packing by Michael Mmoh 7-6(4), 2-6, 5-4.