Former world No.1 Novak Djokovic suffered his sixth defeat of the season with a three-set loss to Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the second round of the Madrid Open.
Edmund, the Australian Open semifinalist and world No.22, came through 6-3 2-6 6-3 to claim his first win over Djokovic in four attempts.
He joins top seed Rafael Nadal in round three after the Spaniard saw off Gael Monfils 6-3 6-1 – his 20th consecutive win and 47th and 48th sets in a row on clay.
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Another straight-sets win against Diego Schwartzman on Thursday will give Nadal the ATP record for consecutive sets on a surface, surpassing John McEnroe’s 49 on carpet in 1984.
“I don’t think if I had a lot of victories in a row. I think that I have another tough match tomorrow, I can go on court and win or lose,” Nadal told atpworldtour.com.
Wednesday’s defeat leaves Djokovic with a 6-6 record in 2018 as he continues to search for the form that made him the best player in the world as recently as two years ago.
“There are obvious things that are not working well for me,” said Djokovic.
“But I have to keep working on them and pray that, and hope that, my game will get stronger.”
The Serb is set to slip outside the world’s top 15 for the first time in 11 years and he next heads to Rome, where he defends 600 points after reaching the final last year.
Edmund goes on to face Belgian eighth seed David Goffin in round three in Madrid.
“He’s a legend of the game,” the Briton said of Djokovic. “One of the best tennis players of all time.
“So, it’s a really good win for me. I’m pleased with the way my game’s developing, that I’m able to beat a player like that.
“It does me the world of good in lots of ways: confidence, belief.”
In other matches, fifth seed Dominic Thiem came through a tight encounter with Federico Delbonis 4-6 6-3 7-5, seventh seed John Isner beat Ryan Harrison 7-6(1) 7-6(7), and Goffin saw off Robin Haase 7-5 6-3.
Second seed Alexander Zverev completed the day’s action at the Caja Magica with a 6-2 7-5 win over Evgeny Donskoy.
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