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Novak Djokovic Suffers Unexpected Defeat in Indian Wells vs. 20-Year-Old Luca Nardi


Novak Djokovic’s run at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was short-lived. On Monday evening, the tournament’s No. 1 seed was bounced in the third round by 20-year-old Italian Luca Nardi.

Nardi pulled off the stunning upset, taking down Djokovic, the world No. 1, 6–4, 3–6, 6–3. He becomes the lowest-ranked player to ever take down the 36-year-old at a Masters 1000 or Grand Slam event throughout his distinguished career. Nardi is the world’s No. 123 ranked player in the PIF ATP rankings. 

The victory against Djokovic, who is Nardi’s idol, is the most significant win of his career and only his second victory against a top-50 opponent, with his first coming in the previous round of the tournament against Zhang Zhizhen. 

Djokovic was making his first appearance in Indian Wells since 2019. He took down Aleksandar Vukic in three sets during his first match before getting stunned by Nardi during match No. 2. 

Nardi, who entered the tournament as a replacement for the injured Tomas Etcheverry, will advance to the round of 16, where a matchup against American Tommy Paul awaits. 

“I think that before this night no one knew me,” said Nardi after stunning the world’s top player, via the ATP. “I hope that the crowd enjoyed the game. I’m super happy with this one.”

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