Competing in Vienna for the first time since winning the title in 2007, Novak Djokovic chased 500 points and the fifth crown of the season. The Serb stayed empty-handed though, suffering the third loss of the season when Lorenzo Sonego stunned him 6-2, 6-1 in 68 minutes!
It is the first top-10 victory for the 25-year-old who dominated on both serve and return to leave Novak far behind and reach the semis as a lucky loser. Sonego saved all six break chances and delivered five breaks, stealing over half of the return points and closing the encounter with 26 winners and 12 unforced errors.
Novak was far from his best form, landing only seven winners and counting to 25 errors, never looking like a serious competitor after securing the year-end no. 1 honor in the previous match. Djokovic netted a smash at 30-15 in the first game and suffered a break after a loose forehand.
Sonego found his forehand in the early stages, holding at 30 in game two to confirm the break and open a 2-0 gap. Novak got broken again in the third game when his forehand after the return landed long, falling 3-0 behind after 11 minutes.
Lorenzo landed a forehand down the line winner in game four to move further ahead, firing four winners in game six to open a 5-1 gap. Djokovic held after deuce in game seven with a forehand winner to reduce the deficit, with Sonego serving for the set at 5-2.
With nothing to offer on the return, Novak lost the eighth game at love after four winners from the Italian, who secured the opener in great style after 31 minutes.
Lorenzo Sonego lost just three games against Novak Djokovic to reach semis.
Sonego had 11 winners and four unforced errors in the opener, reducing Djokovic to three winners and 13 errors and dominating the encounter so far.
With nothing working his way, world no. 1 netted a forehand in the first game of the second set to give serve away before Lorenzo fired a service winner in game two to move closer to the finish line. Facing the first troubles on serve, the Italian fended off three break chances in the fourth game, bringing the game home when Novak sprayed a backhand mistake.
Gaining momentum from there, Sonego landed a forehand down the line winner to grab another break in game five, forging a 4-1 advantage and taking another big step towards the finish line. Playing bold and aggressive tennis, Lorenzo repelled three break chances in game six and held after a smash winner at the net that sent him 5-1 up.
Serving to extend the clash, Novak got broken following a return winner from Sonego who started a massive celebration of his most significant victory in a career.