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Miami Open 2019: Djokovic knocked out of tournament after puzzling loss to Bautista Agut

ANALYST
Feature
Timeless

After the first 25 minutes of the match, it seemed likely that it was going to be another easy victory for Novak Djokovic as he took the first set 6-1.

But the fourth round match between Roberto Bautista Agut and Djokovic at the Miami Open on Tuesday ended with Djokovic losing 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. This was Djokovic's second loss to Bautista Agut this year, after losing the Doha semifinal in January.

Bautista Agut after his victory over Djokovic in the fourth round of Miami Open
Bautista Agut after his victory over Djokovic in the fourth round of Miami Open

In the second set, Djokovic was one game away from wrapping up the match at 5-4, before rain stopped play. That gave the Spaniard an opportunity to regroup and bounce back. He saved 6 out of 7 break points offered to Djokovic in that set, doing everything he could to stay afloat.

From 5-4, the Serb ended up losing the set 5-7. The problems escalated for him in the third set as he lost a bunch of points from advantageous positions, which he wouldn't normally have.

It was a different Djokovic on show. Even though it didn't seem like there were any issues with his body, he just couldn't muster up enough of a fight to win the match in his trademark style.

He was feeling as good as ever physically but during the post-match press conference he said that there were way too many things off the court which had started affecting him a bit lately. However, his equation with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, which has been the subject of plenty of scrutiny in recent times, is apparently not one of those off-court issues weighing him down.

Djokovic had said earlier in the week that he still gets along well with both Federer and Nadal despite the controversial ousting of the ATP chairman Chris Kermode.

"Federer and Nadal have been icons of our sport for so many years and their opinions are extremely important to everyone. If they want to be active and part of it (Players' council), either officially or unofficially, I think it's only positive for us," Djokovic was quoted as saying.

"It's not necessary for people to create any tensions or divisions between us. On the contrary, i have a good relationship with both of them. We always respected each other. We are rivals of-course so it's hard to be friends," Djokovic added.

Coming to the prospects of the Miami Open, Bautista Agut will now face the defending champion John Isner in the quarter-finals after the latter defeated Kyle Edmund in his fourth round match.

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