Novak Djokovic’s lack of match fitness caught up with him at the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday as the world No 1 exited the event at the hands of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
The Serb, playing in just his second event of the year, made 51 unforced errors in difficult conditions to go out 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 in the second round.
Djokovic returned to the court for the first time since Dubai in February, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Jiri Vesely, but the Spanish world No 46 was far stronger in the deciding set to run away with victory.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion had elected not to attempt to compete in the US hard-court swing due to restrictions relating to his Covid-19 vaccination status.
I’m disappointed. No one likes to lose. We’re professional athletes. This is what we do. We go out on the court to compete and try to win against each other,” Djokovic said.