Djokovic ousted by Dimitrov in Madrid second round
Updated: 2013-05-08 10:45
MADRID - Novak Djokovic was dumped out of the Madrid Open in the second round on Tuesday when he went over on his ankle and incurred the wrath of the locals on the way to a shock 7-6 6-7 6-3 reverse to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
The world number one, who had a bye in the opening round, was already a break down to the unseeded 21-year-old in the second set when he twisted the same ankle he hurt playing for Serbia in the Davis Cup last month.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after suffering an ankle sprain during his defeat to Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria during their men's singles match at the Madrid Open tennis tournament, May 7, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
He immediately lost his serve for a third time, however, and world number 28 Dimitrov battled through cramp to seal by far the biggest win of his career, ending Djokovic's bid for a fourth title of 2013.
Djokovic said his preparation for the claycourt event had not been ideal as he had not touched a racket for 12 days following his victory against Rafa Nadal in the final of last month's Monte Carlo Masters.
"Up until Saturday I didn't know whether I would come or not because of the ankle," Djokovic said.
"But I am not trying to find an excuse, he was the better player and I congratulate him," added the 25-year-old, who beat Dimitrov in their previous two meetings.
"Nothing really happened when I twisted my ankle because I had good protection so that's the only positive from this. That I didn't injure my ankle worse before Rome and Paris."
Dimitrov, who looked close to tears as he embraced his coaching team at the side of the court, afterwards seemed underwhelmed by the victory, noting that it was "just the second round".
"It's a great win for me. Good day at the office. I know it's a big thing, of course," he told reporters.
"But you got to stay on the ground. Hopefully you're going to face these guys for years. It's just a match. You never know how it's going to be next time."
He said he had not been expecting the crowd to get behind him so completely - Djokovic annoyed the locals by questioning several line calls - and the atmosphere had reminded him of a raucous Davis Cup tie.
"I guess tonight was also one of these nights that things are going your way and they're there with you," he said. "You know, the whole fight in general, the three sets, I mean, it was a lot of fun, a lot of entertainment for everyone."
Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the end of their men's singles match at the Madrid Open tennis tournament, May 7, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]