HomeTennisNovak Djokovic has an Italian problem as Luca Nardi joins list of...

Novak Djokovic has an Italian problem as Luca Nardi joins list of players to defeat the tennis great


Related stories


Novak Djokovic has suffered 10 defeats since the start of the 2023 tennis season and five of those losses have come against an Italian player with Lucas Nardi the latest to beat the tennis great.

The 20-year-old Nardi, ranked No 123 in the world, became the first lucky loser to defeat Djokovic as he stunned the 24-time Grand Slam winner 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the third round of the Indian Wells Open.

There was another feather in the cap of the youngster as he is also the lowest-ranked player to beat Djokovic at an ATP Masters 1000 event or a Grand Slam.

And Djokovic was full of praise for the youngster stating: “He got in as a Lucky Loser to the main draw, so he really didn’t have anything to lose, he played great and deserved to win.

“He was playing more free and more aggressive than I did, and going for his shots and that break on 3-2 in the third was enough.”

But for Djokovic it was his third defeat of the 2024 season with two of those coming against Italians as Jannik Sinner beat him in four sets at the Australian Open in January.

Sinner, of course, is the man of the moment as he has beaten Djokovic three times since the start of last November with the first win coming in the round-robin phase of the ATP Finals before the Serbian turned the tables by winning the final.

The Italian followed it up with another victory at the Davis Cup finals before making it a hat-trick of wins against the world No 1 at Melbourne Park in January.

READ MORE: Who is Luca Nardi? Meet the Novak Djokovic super fan playing his idol at Indian Wells

Besides Sinner and Nardi, Lorenzo Musetti is the third Italian to have beaten Djokovic since the start of 2023 with his famous defeat coming in the round of 16 at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.

Novak Djokovic’s 10 Defeats Since Start Of 2023

– Russian Daniil Medvedev (No 7 in the world at the time) in the semi-final of the Dubai Tennis Championships in February – 6-4, 6-4
– Italian Lorenzo Musetti (21) in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters in April – 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
– Serbian Dusan Lajovic (70) in the quarter-final in Banja Luca in April – 7-6 (9-7), 6-4
– Dane Holger Rune (7) in the quarter-final of the Italian Open in May – 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
– Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz (1) in the final at Wimbledon in July – 1-6, 7-6 (8-6), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
– Italian Jannik Sinner (4) in the round-robin of the ATP Finals in November – 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-2)
– Italian Jannik Sinner (4) in the semi-final of the Davis Cup in November – 2-6, 6-2, 7-5
– Australian Alex de Minaur (12) in the quarter-final of the United Cup in January – 6-4, 6-4
– Italian Jannik Sinner (4) in the semi-final of the Australian Open in January – 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3
– Italian Luca Nardi (123) in the third round of the Indian Wells Open in March – 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

And let’s not forget that Djokovic and Miomir Kecmanovic also tasted defeat at the hands of Italians in the doubles of the Davis Cup semi-finals in November as Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego won 6-3, 6-4 to steer their country to the final.

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories