Novak Djokovic loses his first return match on tour, upset by 22-year-old Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

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World number one Novak Djokovic lost his opening match at the Monte-Carlo Masters on Tuesday. Djokovic fell to world No. 46 ranked Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Djokovic retired from the clay court match in three sets with the final score 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 1-6. It was Djokovic’s first match since February and only his fourth of the year. Davidovich Fokina, 22, broke Djokovic’s serve nine times.

The 34-year-old Serbian tennis star was forced to miss the Australian Open earlier this year as well as several events on the ATP Tour because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19. Djokovic had arrived in Melbourne for the 2022 Australian Open but was unceremoniously expelled after a court unanimously upheld the Australian immigration minister’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Rafael Nadal would claim the title and claim his 21st Grand Slam championship, breaking a tie with Djokovic (and Roger Federer) for the most Grand Slam titles for men of all time.

Before the start of the Monte Carlo Masters, Djokovic said he was looking to move on from what happened at the Australian Open.

“You have to deal with everything that’s probably been sleeping inside and maybe waiting to come out,” Djokovic said of the Australian Open. “I try to deal with it daily or weekly, whatever. If something surfaces, I acknowledge it, but move on.”

Djokovic recently reclaimed his world No. 1 ranking after Daniil Medvedev lost to Gael Monfils in the second round in Indian Wells. Medvedev had risen to world No. 1 after beating Djokovic at the 2021 US Open.

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