Djokovic sinks into quicksand against an intractable Nardi

Novak Djokovic's path to Indian Wells 2024 was cut short when Luca Nardi defeated him 6-4 3-6 6-3 to prevent him from reaching the third round in the desert. The Italian was a real hurricane, playing probably the best game of his career to get his first win against a top 10. Noll was never at his best and left the match a lucky loser.

The first set was a show of one piece's intentions Luca Nardi. The Italian left the match struggling Novak Holds the pulse of side-to-side and long rallies. Djokovic came out aggressively, but his discomfort grew as the minutes wore on growing up. The Italian excelled from the baseline and was very confident on serve. While Nardi didn't produce the most damaging serve, the Serbian couldn't net effectively and continued without finding good feelings in the field. Noel's physical expression did not suggest he was comfortable against the Italian as he seemed unwilling to play from behind.

He responded well to the variation Djokovic proposed early on, but the rest made the difference. That performance unsettled the Serb a bit and, wanting to be more aggressive, he failed too much to give up his serve. Loser of luck. He began to lose long rallies against a Nardi who moved from defense to attack with ease and dominated the drop shot in the most dramatic moments. And the Italian was playing exceptionally well, believing it more and more against the more eccentric Knoll, who couldn't stop the loose Nardi from taking sets.

Knoll is similar, but without major improvements

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The second set saw Luca continue his dominance, but he ran into Knoll looking to regain control of the match. After several mistakes from the Italian, the Serbian finally tried to break his opponent and turn the match around. Sustaining that advantage wasn't easy, as Nardi didn't want to walk away from the contest, lined up big right hands and was superior off the baseline. From that point on, the Serbian didn't know how to win points and didn't stop piling up errors. Rallies is long.

The Italian wanted to regain the gap and after a confusing moment he achieved it. From that point on, Nardi's consistency began to wane, causing him to play his worst game of the tournament and Noll capitalizing on those errors again. While the Italian was going through his worst moment, the Serbian started to feel better on his feet, became more organized and improved his serve percentage. This took the match to a thrilling third and final set.

Nardi takes control of the game again

The Italian bounced back from that slump and here's how he did it. Nardi raised his level in the first set when it looked possible, and Nole began to dominate, as he had done more than once. Forehand, backhand parallel, cross, everything. The Italian hit every step and was a steamroller for Nole who didn't know how to bring his rival down from the cloud. As if it were a prophecy, Luca took the break with the final blow to seal the match. The world number 1 turned out to be small and could not impose his game against this big man Loser of luckIt gave the competition a surprise, no doubt.

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