Vienna – Novak Djokovic suffered his worst defeat in a three-set match on Friday when he was knocked out of the Vienna ATP tournament by Italian “lucky loser” Lorenzo Sonego, slowing his bid to wrap up the year-end world No. 1 ranking for a sixth time.
World No. 42 Sonego, who initially lost in qualifying last weekend, became the first-ever lucky loser to beat Djokovic with a 6-2, 6-1 rout in their quarterfinal match.
The only other time Djokovic won just three games in a match was against Marat Safin in the 2005 Australian Open.
“He just blew me off the court, that’s all,” Djokovic told atptour.com.
“He was better in every segment of the game. It was a pretty bad match from my side, but amazing from his side. He definitely deserved this result.”
Sonego fired 26 winners past the Serb, who lost for only the third time in 2020.
“For sure it’s the best victory of my life,” Sonego said. “Novak is the best in the world. Today I played so, so good.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s amazing. I played the best match in my life. I’m so happy for this.”
Djokovic, a 17-time major champion, managed just seven winners against 25 unforced errors.
Sonego will face either Britain’s Dan Evans or Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria for a place in the final.
Second seed, and defending champion, Dominic Thiem also lost Friday, going down 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to Russian world No. 8 Andrey Rublev.
Rublev hit 30 winners past the U.S. Open champion and goes on to face South Africa’s Kevin Anderson for a place in the final.
“I came here with the mood that I have nothing to lose,” said Rublev who is chasing his fifth title of the year.
“I had already a really great season. I came here with zero expectations, just wanting to do my best. To try to fight every match. At the end, I am here in the semifinals.”
Anderson made the semifinals by beating Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).
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