Novak Djokovic was bundled out of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Thursday by Daniel Evans, 6-4, 7-5. Coming to press just minutes after the match was complete, the World No. 1 was quick to congratulate his opponent while being candid about his performance.
“To be honest, this has been probably one of the worst matches and performances from my side I can recall in the last years,” Djokovic said. “I don’t want to take anything away from his win, but from my side, I just felt awful on the court overall. Just nothing worked. It’s one of those days.”
In his first meeting against Djokovic, the 30-year-old Brit came armed with a barrage of slices and hot shots. The upset ends Djokovic’s perfect 10-0 start to 2021 and puts Evans into his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.
“Should have and could have done much, much better. Just [an] awful performance,” Djokovic said. I can’t take anything positive away from this match.”
The Serbian had looked strong in his opening win against Jannik Sinner, but came to the court on Thursday a different player.
“Today was completely the opposite of what I felt yesterday,” the 33-year-old said. “Just was obviously very, very windy, tough to play in these kind of conditions against a guy like Evans who makes you move. He’s very unpredictable with his shots. He dismantled my game.”
Evans will next take on David Goffin after the Belgian upset fifth seed Alexander Zverev. Djokovic will look to regroup before returning to the court at home in Belgrade next week.
“I was just not feeling it, and playing pretty bad,” Djokovic said. “Obviously right now, as I walk off the court, I’m disappointed with the way I played, the way I felt on the court. But it’s a long clay season. Still plenty of tournaments, plenty of room to improve.
“Obviously I have to work — hopefully get a better performance next week in Belgrade.”