Watch: Luca Nardi suffers brutal misfortune, loses 3-hour battle in devastating way

Nardi was inches away from beating Thiago Seyboth Wild in Bucharest but then suffered a misfortune.

by Dzevad Mesic
Watch: Luca Nardi suffers brutal misfortune, loses 3-hour battle in devastating way
© Tennis TV - X

Luca Nardi was hit by misfortune during his Bucharest opener as the 20-year-old Italian missed out on five match points against Thiago Seyboth Wild just before turning his ankle and losing the match in a pretty heartbreaking and devastating way. 

On Monday, Nardi - who recently stunned world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Indian Wells Masters - started his Bucharest debut by taking on 67th-ranked Seyboth Wild. 

With Nardi 5-3 up in the third set, he had a total of five match points in that game. But after missing out on all of them, Nardi turned his ankle while attempting to quickly change directions. Nardi instantly grabbed his ankle and laid on the court for some time as it was evident that he was in pain and discomfort. 

Seyboth Wild then delivered a very sportsmanlike gesture, grabbing a chair and placing it right where Nardi fell so the Italian could sit while waiting for the physio. Following the physio's intervention, Nardi was able to continue the match and play until the end. 

But he didn't manage to close out the match despite having a chance to serve out for it as Seyboth Wild came back to win 6-3 6-7 (5) 7-6 (2). 

In the end, Nardi lost after three hours and 16 minutes of grueling play.

Nardi was inches away from beating Seyboth Wild in his Bucharest debut

Early in the first set, Nardi had a few chances to claim an early break but he missed out on a break point in the first game and another two games later. Nardi paid the price for not realizing his two early break point chances as Seyboth Wild claimed the first break in the fourth game to open a 3-1 lead. Up by a break, Seyboth Wild then held on to his serve for the remainder of the first set to seal the opener. 

During the entire second set, both players firmly held on to their serves as not a single break point was seen and the set had to be decided via a tie-break. In the second-set tie-break, the key moment happened midway through the tie-break when Nardi won three consecutive points to open a 6-4 lead and earn two consecutive set points. The Italian didn't convert his first set point but made no mistakes on his second as the match went into a decider.

Luca Nardi
Luca Nardi © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

At the start of the third set, the two players remained rock-solid on their serve as the first four games went without a single break point. Then in the fifth game, the first break point since the fourth game of the first set was seen - Nardi earned it and realized to go 3-2 up in the decider. Shortly after breaking Seyboth Wild, the Italian had a chance to go up by a double break in the seventh game but the Brazilian managed to save it and keep it a one-break deficit. 

Then the eighth game happened and Seyboth Wild serving to stay in the match while 3-5 down. As mentioned above, Nardi missed out on five match points before he injured himself. When the play resumed, Nardi faced two consecutive break points but managed to save them. But Seyboth Wild kept pressing - earned his third break point in that game - and realized it to tie the third set to five games apiece.

In the next two games, both players routinely served out their service games and a tie-break had to be played in a second consecutive set. Nardi started the tie-break by winning the opening point but then Seyboth Wild responded by winning the next five points and opening a 5-1 lead before converting his first match point. 

Nardi's is having a breakthrough season on the Tour

While Nardi's Bucharest campaign ended in a very disappointing and unfortunate way, it doesn't change the fact that it has still been a good season for the 20-year-old. 

After finishing as runner-up at the Chennai Challenger in February, Nardi went to Indian Wells for the opening Masters of the year, where he lost in the qualifying but still made the main draw as a lucky loser. Then, Nardi's biggest win happened after he upset record 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic 6-4 3-6 6-3 before losing to 2023 Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul in the round-of-16.

Luca Nardi and Novak Djokovic
Luca Nardi and Novak Djokovic © Getty Images Sport - Michael Stockman

Following his big Indian Wells result, Nardi broke into the top-100 for the first time in his career and also achieved a career-high ranking of No. 75 on April 1st.

Since Indian Wells, Nardi has appeared in four tournaments - he lost in the Miami Masters qualifying first round but then returned to the Challenger Tour, where he won Naples. After Naples, Nardi made it past the Monte Carlo qualifying to reach the main draw before losing to Felix Auger-Aliassime. 

It remains to be seen if Nardi will be forced to miss some time after injuring his ankle at this week's tournament in Bucharest.

Luca Nardi Thiago Seyboth Wild