Outsider Luca Nardi stuns Novak Djokovic with victory in Indian Wells | tennis

Novak Djokovic was excluded from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells by lucky loser Luca Nardi.

Nardi, 20, faced American Tommy Paul in the round of 16 as he defeated the world number 1 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The Italian, No. 123 in the world, is the lowest-ranked player to beat Djokovic at the ATP Masters 1000 or Grand Slam level.

“I don’t know (how I kept my nerve),” he said. “I think it’s a miracle because I’m a 20-year-old man, the 100th in the world, and I beat Novak. It’s crazy.”

Nardi sealed his win with his sixth ace, scoring 16 winners in the final set against just two from the five-time Indian Wells champion.

“That’s good. You know, it’s part of the sport,” Djokovic said. “You just have to accept it. Some you win; some you lose. Hopefully I’ll win more and still keep going. I appreciate that every trophy “That I win at some point will be great, of course to break a little bit of the negative cycle that I have had in the last three or four tournaments where I didn’t really give my best.”

Paul reached the round of 16 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Frenchman Ugo Humbert, while seventh seed Holger Rune, ninth seed Casper Ruud, Taylor Fritz and Grigor Dimitrov all advanced in straight sets. Dimitrov will play fourth seed Daniil Medvedev, who needed three sets to beat Sebastian Korda 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

However, British number 1 Cameron Norrie was eliminated after a dramatic 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-3 defeat against French veteran Gaël Monfils. Norrie led by a set and 3-0 before falling victim to a stirring comeback from the 37-year-old.

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Monfils equalized in an extraordinary second set tie-break, winning a point with an underarm serve before taking the set at the end of a stunning 31-shot rally.

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