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No.123 ATP Ranked Luca Nardi Upsets Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells

Against All Odds, 20-Year-Old Luca Nardi Upsets Novak Djokovic in the BNP Paribas Open

Nardi Shocking the Tennis World

In breaking tennis news, Novak Djokovic was ousted in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open by the No. 123 ranked player in the world, shocking the tennis world and handing the tennis legend the worst defeat of his storied career.

Young Italian Stuns Djokovic

There are upsets and then there are upsets. The sudden exit by arguably the greatest player ever to grace the hardcourt fell spectacularly to Italy’s 20-year-old Luca Nardi. After defeating the first Top 50 opponent, China’s Zhang Zhizhen, of his career, Nardi entered as a prohibitive underdog against Djokovic. But when the dust settled, the young Italian emerged with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over the tennis legend.

No.123 ATP Ranked Luca Nardi Upsets Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells
Luca Nardi of Italy serves against Novak Djokovic of Serbia/Clive Brunskill/Getty Images/AFP

Nardi is the lowest-ranked player to defeat Djokovic in a Grand Slam or ATP 1000 tournament and sent a shockwave across the tennis landscape. Nardi dominated the match, hitting 16 winners in the final set versus just two from the five-time Indian Wells champion.

When Nardi was asked about how he maintained his composure, he said, “I don’t know [how I held my nerve]. I think it is a miracle because I am a 20-year-old guy, 100 in the world, and beating Novak. It’s crazy.

Some You Win, Some You Lose

Djokovic was gracious in defeat and took an analytical approach to the upset loss. “It’s fine. You know, it’s part of the sport,” said Djokovic. “You just have to accept it. Some you win; some you lose. Hopefully, I’ll win some more and still keep going. I guess every trophy that eventually comes my way is going to be great, obviously to break the kind of negative cycle a little bit I’m having in the last three, four tournaments where I haven’t really been close to my best.

 


Tennis rumors were circulating as to whether or not Djokovic would appear at Indian Wells after losing to another upstart, 22-year-old Jannik Sinner, in the semifinals at the Australian Open back in January. But once he made it official, he was immediately installed as the tournament’s No. 1 seed and received a first-round bye before beating Australian Aleksandar Vukic, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, in the second round.


Djokovic’s net worth is somewhere in the neighborhood of $240 million, much of which is attributed to endorsements and business ventures. The tennis superstar won nearly $16 million in prize money last year, towering above the relatively paltry $455,000 earned by Nardi in 2023.

However, the Italian-born Nardi now has a chance to win the $1.1 million top prize at the 2024 BNP Paribas Open but regardless of where he finishes, beating one of tennis history’s greatest players will be a priceless memory that will last a lifetime.

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