Davidovich Fokina explains plan behind special win over Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has insisted that his plan to take advantage of Novak Djokovic’s rustiness played a major role in shaping his impressive victory over the Serb at the Monte Carlo Masters. Davidovich Fokina produced a stunning performance to book his place in the third round of this year’s tournament and pull off a major shock at the expense of Djokovic, who was playing in his first event since the Dubai Tennis Championships back in February.

The result marked the first time that Djokovic, who had his serve broken on nine occasions, had been knocked out in the opening match of a tournament since 2018. Davidovich Fokina went on to admit that he planned to exploit Djokovic’s lack of sharpness before their meeting in Monaco and that he was expecting the Serb to be short on confidence after missing out on Indian Wells and the Australian Open earlier this year.

“This win is so special for me, I grew up watching Nole and I’m his big fan,” he said. “I look at him at every tournament, every match. Here in Monte Carlo, a full crowd of people, against the No, I enjoyed every moment.

“I’m so happy. I started from the beginning very good because I knew Nole doesn’t have the confidence because he didn’t play a lot [before this]. Then I had to focus on every point because I had my chances from the beginning and I did it.

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“When he won the second set, it was tough mentally. But I’m working so hard to be more focused. It doesn’t matter if I lose the first set or the second set, I have to be prepared for the war. That was it.”

Djokovic was expected to prevail against Davidovich Fokina in spite of his inactivity but looked rusty over the course of the match and will be desperate to sharpen up before the French Open gets underway next month. He committed a total 51 unforced efforts but was quick to praise his Spanish opponent when quizzed on what went wrong in the immediate aftermath of proceedings in Monte Carlo.

“Game-wise, physically I was just far from my best,” said Djokovic. “So of course in those types of conditions and circumstances, then you have to really work two times more than you normally would.

“And again, I played a clay-court specialist. He had a match already on centre court a few days ago. I expected this match to be [a] really tough match, [a] physical battle, and that’s what it was.

“Unfortunately I’m on the shorter end of the stick, and my week ends here.”

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