Luca Nardi stuns world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Indian Wells!

20-year-old Luca Nardi beat Novak Djokovic in three sets in the third round

by Jovica Ilic
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Luca Nardi stuns world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Indian Wells!
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The 20-year-old Luca Nardi produced a stunner in Indian Wells. A lucky loser toppled world no. 1 and five-time champion Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 20 minutes. Luca won one point less than Novak but produced in the pivotal moments, losing serve two times and delivering three breaks from 11 opportunities to emerge at the top.

They played a tight opening set, and Nardi created the only break chance in game five from 40-15 down. The Italian seized it and clinched the set after delivering five comfortable holds. Djokovic hit a service winner at 30-30 in the first game of the encounter and closed it after Nardi's mistake.

Novak climbed back from 15-40 in the second game, reaching deuce before Luca wrapped up the game with two service winners for 1-1.

Novak Djokovic, Indian Wells 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no.

1 secured the third game with an ace and earned a slight chance on the return in the next one after Nardi's wayward forehand. The young gun stayed focused and landed a powerful serve, taking the game and locking the result at 2-2.

Novak played a wrong shot at 40-15 in the fifth game and missed a forehand to bring Luca back to deuce. The Serb netted a routine forehand and faced a break point. The Italian attacked and landed a forehand winner to clinch a break and move in front after 23 minutes.

Djokovic sprayed a couple of errors in the sixth game, allowing Nardi to hold and cement the lead. Novak served well in the seventh game, closing it with two powerful serves and staying within one break deficit. Luca fired unreturned serves in the eighth game, holding at 30 and extending the lead to 5-3.

Djokovic served to stay in the set in game nine and held after Nardi's loose backhand. The young gun served for the set at 5-4 and held his nerves, opening the game with a volley winner and landing an ace for two set points.

Luca converted the first with another unreturned serve, clinching the opener 6-4 after 44 minutes. Novak stepped in and took charge of the shortest points up to four strokes in the second set, delivering two breaks and forcing a decider.

Djokovic had more service winners while taming his strokes nicely, welcoming almost 20 unforced errors from the 20-year-old and extending the battle.

unknown© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Luca Nardi defeated Novak Djokovic in three sets in Indian Wells.

The Serb held at 15 with a service winner in the first game and climbed back from 40-0 down in game two after the Italian's double fault.

Novak created his first break point with a volley winner and seized it after Luca's backhand error for a break and a 2-0 advantage. The third game lasted 12 minutes, and Djokovic played against five break chances. Novak lost a point on the fifth one over a questionable call after stopping the point, bringing Luca back to the positive side and arguing with the chair umpire.

The Italian fired a service winner in the fourth game, leveling the score at 2-2 and hoping for more return chances. Instead, Djokovic produced a fine hold in the fifth game and closed it with an unreturned serve for 3-2.

Novak Djokovic, Indian Wells 2024© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The young gun hit a double fault at 30-30 in the sixth game, offering world no.

1 a break chance. Novak drew Luca's mistake with a powerful forehand crosscourt, earning his second break and forging a 4-2 advantage. Djokovic held at love in game seven, completing it with a service winner and moving 5-2 in front.

Luca struggled for the third time in the set on his serve in game eight, offering Novak two set points. The youngster denied them with valiant shots, drawing Djokovic's mistakes and holding with a forehand crosscourt winner for 3-5.

The veteran lost those chances behind and served well in the ninth game. Djokovic created three set points with an unreturned serve and converted the first with a backhand winner at the net, forcing a decider after an hour and 33 minutes.

Novak extended the first game of the third set with a forehand crosscourt return winner before Luca brought it home with a forehand drive-volley winner. Djokovic experienced the real test in the second game, playing against three break chances.

Nardi painted a backhand down the line winner for 40-15, and world no. 1 denied two break points with a service winner and a fine attack. The Italian squandered the third break chance, allowing the Serb to close the game after more deuces and 12 and a half minutes!

Nardi left those opportunities behind and landed an ace in the third game for a comfortable hold and a 2-1 lead. Djokovic locked the result at 2-2 with a service winner in game four, eager to stay in contention and overpower his young opponent.

Novak Djokovic, Indian Wells 2024© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Feeling no pressure, Luca clinched the fifth game with a smash winner and took charge on the return in the next one. Novak netted a routine forehand in the sixth game, offering his rival three break chances.

The Italian converted the second with a fine backhand attack, opening a 4-2 lead and moving closer to the finish line against the world's best player. Luca confirmed the break with a service winner in game seven, forging a 5-2 advantage and forcing Novak to serve to stay in the match.

Djokovic grabbed the eighth game at love with a fine serve & volley combo, hoping for one last chance on the return in game nine. Instead, Nardi landed a service winner at 15-15 and created two match points after a forehand drive-volley winner. The Italian sealed the deal on the first with an ace, scoring a career-best win and sending world no. 1 packing.

Luca Nardi Novak Djokovic Indian Wells
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