World No. 1 Novak Djokovic lost to Russian Aslan Karatsev (28th) in the semifinals of “his” tournament in Belgrade on Saturday, leading by three sets, his second disappointment after an untimely defeat in the 8th final in Monaco. .
World No. 1 lost the match 5-7, 6-4, 4-6 in a match where he could not find his normal rhythm and was very feverish in his face-offs.
Karatsev, who will play his second final on Sunday, will take revenge on Djokovic for severely knocking him out of the semifinals of the Australian Open, the tournament that revealed the tournament to the Russian public.
“I believe, I decided to play every ball when I entered the court, to fight. It was the biggest victory of my career, I beat No. 1,” he said after the Russian victory at an online press conference.
And World No. 1 did not fail to bow to his opponent’s “courage” and “excellent play in important moments”. He also said that he was not at his best “This is unusual for me. In the third set I suffered from vertigo ”.
“Roland Garros is the main goal, but if I want to do anything about it I have to play well. I have a lot more work to do than me,” Knoll concluded.
After a good start, Djokovic was very scared and betrayed with his service, which he gave to his opponent three times and lost logically in the first set (7-5).
Russia appeared to be heading for a two-set victory, with Serbia leading 4-2 after taking service for the fourth time, with Djokovic eventually responding and tying the game.
But Knoll, on the scheduled day, continued to ride his tennis in the third set, wasting a lot of break points, a total of 23, and missed shots in crucial moments.
For his part, Karatsev, who finished after 3 hours and 25 minutes of play, challenged world number 10 Italian Matteo Beretti in the final to “lucky defeat” to disqualify Japanese Tarot Daniel, 6-1, 6 (5) -7, 6 -0.
Djokovic started the season badly on clay, chaining two defeats in a row and not convincing himself as the Master of Rome and Roland-Garros approached.