Madrid Flashback: Novak Djokovic struggles and loses to Kyle Edmund



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Madrid Flashback: Novak Djokovic struggles and loses to Kyle Edmund

Struggling with an elbow injury in the second part of 2017, Novak Djokovic could not regain his A-game at the beginning of 2018. Novak came to Madrid with only five wins under his belt, and he did not enjoy a notable run at Caja Magica.

The Serb defeated Kei Nishikori before experiencing a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 loss to Kyle Edmund in an hour and 42 minutes. It was the season's sixth loss in 12 matches for Novak, as he still struggled with an elbow injury and played way below his usual level from the last seven or eight years.

It was the biggest win for the Briton in his career, earning it after saving four out of seven break chances, including all three in the deciding set that proved to be crucial. Novak raised his level after losing the opening set, but those break opportunities he wasted in the decider cost him a lot.

Kyle broke Novak at love in game nine to seal the deal and march into the third round for the first time at the Masters 1000 series. Edmund won just two points more than Djokovic after being sidelined in the second set, and we have to give him credit for improving his backhand in the final set and coming back from 40-0 down on serve at 2-2 to gain confidence that carried him through.

The Briton hurled a forehand winner to kick off the encounter with a break before the Serb pulled it back in the next game after Kyle's forehand error. While serving from the court's sunnier side, Novak hit a double fault to suffer a break and fall 3-2 down.

In the next two service games, Kyle held with ease to move 5-3 ahead.

Novak Djokovic lost to Kyle Edmund in Madrid 2018 to extend his poor run.

A backhand return winner sealed the set for the youngster in game nine, breaking Novak for the third time and looking strong to grab the first triumph over the better-ranked opponent in four clashes.

Djokovic raised his level in set number two to take advantage in the rallies and push Edmund's backhand to the limits. The Serb lost just five points behind the initial shot and stole the rival's serve in games one and seven for a commanding 6-2 after a service winner in game eight.

The returners won just one point in the opening four games of the final set, and the decisive moment came at 2-2 when Kyle found himself 40-0 down on serve. He saved the first two break chances with service winners, and Novak wasted the last one with a backhand error, which would prove to be very costly.

Serving at 3-4, Djokovic sprayed a forehand error to drop serve and allow Edmund to serve for the victory. Interestingly, Novak did not lose a point on serve before that game in the decider. He still gave it to Kyle despite the fact he landed every first serve in.

Cold as ice, Edmund blasted four winners in the ninth game to celebrate a massive win and earn his career-best result at the Masters 1000 series.