Medvedev upsets Djokovic at Monte Carlo for his 1st Masters semis

Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrates after winning his quarterfinal match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France, Apr. 19, 2019. EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

FRANCE.- Daniil Medvedev of Russia on Friday pulled off a big upset, defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals.

On a day marked by wind, the young Medvedev needed two hours and 20 minutes to prevail over Djokovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 earning his first-ever win over the ranked world No. 1 in the two players’ fourth match.

Medvedev, world No. 14, is set to make his first Masters 1000 semifinal appearance, when he takes on Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.

Djokovic had a slow start, with imprecise serves, too many dropped shots and doubt that has re-emerged after his easy win over Taylor Fritz of the United States in the previous round.

Subsequently, he lost the first set, conceding his serve twice in the process.

The Serbian, then, put himself together and minimized his errors and gave a glimpse of the performance that allowed him to win the title twice.

The Belgrade-born player improved on first serve, from 53 percent in the first set to 82 percent in the second, resulting in him drawing level at one set apiece, pushing the match to a decider.

However in the deciding third set, Djokovic, who earlier in the year had won his seventh Australian Open title by defeating Medvedev among others, was unable to earn his fourth consecutive win over the Russian.

Earlier in the day, Lajovic ended the run of Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 7-5, earning his first-ever semifinal berth at a Masters 1000 tourney.

On his way to the last-4, Lajovic stunned David Goffin of Belgium, a former top-10 player, 6-3, 6-4 and then the fifth-ranked in the world Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-3, 6-4 in the second and third rounds respectively.

The quarterfinals’ matches continue with a duel pitting Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who seeks a record-extending 12th Monte Carlo Masters title and Guido Pella of Argentina.

The winner between world No. 2 and the Argentine opponent will face the winner from the other quarterfinal match pitting Borna Coric of Croatia, seeded No. 9, and Fabio Fognini of Italy, seeded No. 13.

In the previous round, Fognini staged a big upset, knocking out third-seed Alexander Zverev 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.

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