Novak Djokovic loses his clay-court season opener to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday. Fokina surprised the top-ranked Serbian 6-3, 9-7 (5), 6-1 in the second round to give Djokovic another setback. Djokovic has now received back-to-back losses since being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championship in February.
The tournament in Dubai was the only other tournament he played in since being barred from playing at the Australian Open. After the match, Djokovic said “He was the better player, … I was hanging on the ropes the entire match. I collapsed, … I just ran out of gas completely … If you can’t stay in the rally, not feeling your legs on the clay, it’s mission impossible.”
Djokovic was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January after he was deported from the country for not being vaccinated. He also had to skip out on the tournaments in Indian Wells, California and Miami because he couldn’t travel to the U.S.
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