Novak Djokovic blasts ‘awful performance’ in shock defeat to Dan Evans in Monte Carlo


Djokovic suffered a shock defeat (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Dan Evans produced one of the upsets of the tennis season so far by defeating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Monte-Carlo Masters.

Evans, the British No. 1, has never hidden the fact that clay is his least favoured surface but that didn’t stop him beating the top seed in straight sets.

A 6-4 7-5 win in little over two hours was his first victory against a top-five player and he admitted he had been ‘extra fired up’ after being kept waitin by Djokovic before the encounter.

‘He kept me waiting at the start of the match in the changing room,’ Evans told Amazon Prime. ‘It was a little annoying. That got me a little extra fired up.’

While Evans – who will go on to face David Goffin in the quarter-finals of the Masters 1000 event – put in a fine performance, using the drop-shot well and being aggressive from the back of the court, it was a curious display from Djokovic on a windy day in Monaco.

Djokovic, an 18-time Grand Slam champion, admitted there were no positives to take.

‘To be honest, I mean, this has been probably one of the worst matches and performances from my side I can recall in the last years,’ said Djokovic in his post-match press conference.

A famous win for Dan Evans (Picture: AFP via Getty)

‘I don’t want to take anything away from his win, but from my side, I just felt awful on the court overall. Just nothing worked. It’s one of those days.

‘I mean, yesterday [beating Jannik Sinner in straight sets] I played pretty good match I thought. Today was completely the opposite of what I felt yesterday.

‘Just was obviously very, very windy, tough to play in these kind of conditions against a guy like Evans who makes you move. He’s very unpredictable with his shots. He dismantled my game.

‘I mean, I was just not feeling it, and playing pretty bad. Obviously right now, as I walk off the court, I’m disappointed with the way I played, the way I felt on the court. But it’s a long clay season. Still plenty of tournaments, plenty of room to improve.’

While Djokovic was disappointed by his own performance, he was impressed by Evans’s game.

‘He has a lot of variety in his game,’ added Djokovic. ‘He uses slice so efficiently. He’s quick around the court. He serves and volleys. He’s got a really all-around game.

Djokovic congratulated Evans (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

‘It’s really a nice player to watch, not a great player to play against. Lots of talent.

‘He’s definitely got the game. I mean, at the slams obviously best-of-five, it’s different. Depends on which surface. He would probably agree maybe clay wasn’t his surface growing up, most preferred one.

‘But the way he plays on clay, I think he plays on a similar quality level that he plays probably on his best surfaces like faster hard court or maybe grass.

‘Congratulations to him. I mean, he deserved to win. He was a better player. Just more focused I guess and played with a better quality in the decisive moments.’

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