Novak Djokovic suffers first defeat to Casper Ruud at Monte-Carlo Masters

By Sports Desk April 13, 2024

World number one Novak Djokovic suffered a first defeat to Casper Ruud as he was beaten in the semi-finals of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

Norwegian Ruud delivered the biggest win of his career with a 6-4 1-6 6-4 victory to reach his second ATP Masters 1000 final.

Ruud had never won a set off Djokovic in their past five meetings, but found his form against the tournament’s top seed to battle through to the final, where he will face Stefanos Tsitsipas.

In a rematch of last year’s French Open final between the pair, Djokovic – who had appeared to struggle physically during his quarter-final win over Alex De Minaur – failed to find his usual high levels.

Ruud, though, rose to the occasion on Court Rainier III to hold off a fightback from the Serbian in the final set, with Djokovic recovering from 4-1 down to level.

The 25-year-old rallied to claim a third match point after Djokovic double faulted, completing a hard-fought victory in two hours and 17 minutes.

Djokovic, meanwhile, sees his hunt for a first tournament win of 2024 continue.

“I am super happy. This is a day I will remember for a long time,” Ruud told the ATP Tour website.

“Beating a world number one is something I have never done and beating Novak is something I have never done.

“I am very, very happy. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now.”

Earlier, Tsitsipas had battled past second seed Jannik Sinner 6-4 3-6 6-4 and now has his eyes set on a third title in the Principality.

“It was tennis at its highest level that I have been able to play,” said the Greek, who lifted back-to-back Monte-Carlo Masters titles in 2021 and 2022.

“Jannik was an extremely-difficult opponent and it can be seen throughout the year so far.

“He has been very consistent and I could see that throughout today with his game.

“He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that.”

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