Novak Djokovic fails to Master Monte Carlo after shock defeat to Dominic Thiem

Novak Djokovic lost in three sets to Austrian Dominic Thiem
Updated 19 April 2018
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Novak Djokovic fails to Master Monte Carlo after shock defeat to Dominic Thiem

  • Former world No.1 still searching for form after returning from injury.
  • Serb is without a title in nearly a year.

A day after needing 10 match points to advance, Novak Djokovic did not even come close to getting one.
The former world No.1 lost to Dominic Thiem 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters despite saying recently he was finally playing pain free after two years of struggles with a persistent right elbow injury.
Djokovic saved one match point against Thiem, but indecision appeared to cost him on the second. The ninth-seeded Djokovic seemed to change his mind about which shot to play, initially shaping up for a low backhand volley at the net but instead going for a backhand which went long.
Djokovic did save three set points in the first set, and the momentum carried over into the tiebreak. But his backhand let him down after that, with Thiem getting consecutive breaks and holding for the second set when Djokovic patted a two-handed backhand into the net.
Thiem, who also beat Djokovic on clay in last year’s French Open quarterfinals, will next face defending champion Rafael Nadal or Karen Khachanov.
Third-seeded Alexander Zverev could face his brother in the last eight after beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. He will next face either Mischa Zverev or Richard Gasquet.
“Hopefully my brother will win and it will be an amazing day tomorrow,” the younger Zverev said.
Second-seeded Marin Cilic advanced without hitting a ball after Milos Raonic pulled out with a right knee injury. Cilic, the Australian Open runner-up, will next play Kei Nishikori or Andreas Seppi.
Raonic said he hurt his knee during his second-round win on Wednesday.
“It was difficult yesterday early in the match, I rotated on my knee. I thought through treatment and so-forth it would be better,” Raonic said. “I was predisposed to some risk and I was unable to play with that amount of pain. I’ll know more in the (coming) days.”
Sixth-seeded David Goffin also made it through after beating Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 7-5 in a match that included a bizarre incident involving a ball boy.
After dropping his serve to trail 4-1, Bautista Agut cleared a ball from the back of the court just as a ball boy was sprinting across. The ball, which was traveling slowly, bounced and clipped the ball boy on the head. Bautista Agut raised a hand in apology but still got a warning from the chair umpire.
Goffin, a semifinalist in Monte Carlo last year, was confused by what happened.
“I just saw the ball directly hitting the ball boy. I was surprised to see he (Bautista Agut) only got a warning,” Goffin said. “For me, if you send a ball onto the ball boy’s head, you’re (kicked) off. I don’t know what the rules are exactly, how he only got a warning. He said the ball bounced and the ball boy just happened to be there. Bad luck for him. But in any case, it’s just an incident.”
Goffin will next play Grigor Dimitrov in their first meeting on clay. The fourth-seeded Bulgarian beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.


Pakistan thrash England to win 1st Test

Updated 27 May 2018
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Pakistan thrash England to win 1st Test

  • Set just 64 for victory on the fourth morning, Pakistan finished on 66 for one before lunch to go 1-0 up in this two-match series
  • This was England’s seventh loss in 10 Tests as their first match under new national selector Ed Smith ended in a resounding defeat

LONDON: Pakistan beat England by the commanding margin of nine wickets to win the first Test at Lord’s on Sunday.
Set just 64 for victory on the fourth morning, Pakistan finished on 66 for one before lunch to go 1-0 up in this two-match series.
Imam-ul-Haq was 18 not out and Haris Sohail, who hit the winning boundary off Dominic Bess, 39 not out.
England were undone by two top-order batting collapses, slumping to 184 all out after winning the toss in their first innings and declining to 160 for six in their second before fifties from Jos Buttler and Test debutant Dominic Bess prevented an innings defeat.
This was England’s seventh loss in 10 Tests as their first match under new national selector Ed Smith ended in a resounding defeat.
The second Test at Headingley starts on Friday.

Brief scores:
England 1st Inns 184 (A Cook 70; Mohammad Abbas 4-23, Hasan Ali 4-51)
Pakistan 1st Inns 363 (Babar Azam 68, Asad Shafiq 59, Shadab Khan 52, Azhar Ali 50; B Stokes 3-73)
England 2nd Inns 242 (J Root 68, J Buttler 67, D Bess 57: Mohammad Amir 4-36, Mohammad Abbas 4-41)
Pakistan 2nd Inns 66-1

Result: Pakistan won by nine wickets
Series: Pakistan lead two-match series 1-0