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Djokovic shocked by Nardi in Indian Wells Masters third round

Five-time champion and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic crashed out of Indian Wells Masters after a shocking loss to World No. 123 Luca Nardi, a lucky loser from Italy, in the third round on Monday.

The 20-year-old Nardi defeated Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours 20 minutes for the biggest win of his career.

“Before this night no-one knew me,” Nardi said in an on-court interview after his win. “I hope the crowd enjoyed the game; I’m super happy with this one.

“I don’t know. I think it really is a miracle. I’m a guy ranked outside the top 100 in the world and now I’m beating Novak — crazy, crazy.”

Nardi had lost to David Goffin in the final qualifying round but got entry into the main draw after Argentine World No. 30 Tomas Martin Etcheverry pulled out. The Italian received a bye in the first round before beating China’s Zhizhen Zhang 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the round of 64.

Nardi, only the sixth player ranked outside the Top 100 to defeat a world number one at the Masters level since 1990, will next take on 17th-seeded American Tommy Paul for a place in the quarterfinals.

Earlier, Gael Monfils produced a stunning display of shot-making and showmanship to rally from a set and 3-0 down to beat former champion Cameron Norrie 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-3 to reach the last 16.

The 37-year-old Frenchman electrified the crowd with his creativity to set up fourth round meeting with ninth seed Casper Ruud, who defeated Arthur Fils 6-2, 6-4.

Norrie, who won the tournament in 2021, piled up 60 unforced errors and could not solve the unpredictable Monfils puzzle in the three hour and 15 minute affair.

Seventh seed Holger Rune beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-2, 7-6(5) and 17th-seeded American Tommy Paul sailed past Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-4 in other third round action.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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