Novak Djokovic shocked early for second tournament in a row
World number one heads to US Open short on matches and confidence
Tommy Robredo shocked world number one Novak Djokovic Thursday at the Cincinnati Masters, but Roger Federer avoided an upset against Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Spain’s Robredo, seeded 16th in the US Open tune-up, sent top-seeded Djokovic packing 7-6 (8/6), 7-5, the defeat coming a week after the world number one Serb was beaten in the third round at Toronto.
The Wimbledon champion now goes into the US Open, the final grand slam of the year which starts on August 25, well short of matches and confidence.
Second-seeded Federer, a five-time Cincinnati champion, held off Monfils 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
He booked a tough quarter-final against eighth-seeded Scot Andy Murray, who battled more than two hours against the huge serve of John Isner, finally dispatching the American 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).
Federer had a rare show of temper late in the match, arguing with the chair umpire over a decision not to call on electronic line-calling on a particular point.
But Federer quickly recovered his poise, clinching the match with a service winner after breaking Monfils in the penultimate game.
Djokovic, who was married last month and is soon to become a father, said it wasn’t a question of the new elements in his life weighing on his tennis.
“I just lost the match,” he said. “It was bad. Many, many things are not clicking these two weeks on hard courts. It’s unfortunate, but it’s more than obvious I’m not playing even close to what I’m supposed to play.
“I have to keep on working and trying to get better for the US Open. I just don’t feel comfortable. That’s it.”
Robredo was thrilled to win only his second match in eight encounters with a world number one player. He beat then-top ranked Lleyton Hewitt at Roland Garros 11 years ago.