Alejandro Tabilo only second player to achieve this clay court feat against Novak Djokovic - the other is not Rafael Nadal

Monday, 13 May 2024 at 03:00
Alejandro Tabilo's victory over Novak Djokovic marks only the second time the Serbian has lost a match on clay without earning any break points in his favor, a feat that not even Rafael Nadal accomplished.
The only other player to defeat Nole on clay without conceding any break points was a young Alexander Zverev, aged 20, in the final of the 2017 Rome Open. On that occasion, the German won his first Masters 1000 trophy and entered the top 10 rankings for the first time in his career.

It was a tough defeat for Djokovic against Tabilo

The match favored the Chilean from the start. In just 18 minutes, Tabilo was up 4-0, and in a mere 31 minutes, he closed out the first set 6-2, winning 80% of points on his serve and 60% of points overall.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with Tabilo securing an early break and maintaining his lead with impeccable serving, without facing any break points against him. Another break in the ninth game sealed the Chilean's victory with a score of 6-3, 6-3, in what is one of Djokovic's most painful defeats on clay.

Back to the 2017 Rome Open

Novak Djokovic entered the tournament as the second seed behind world No. 1 Andy Murray. Despite an inconsistent season, Djokovic was in excellent form in Rome, reaching the final without dropping a set, including convincing victories over Juan Martin Del Potro (6-1, 6-4) and Dominic Thiem (6-1, 6-0). Therefore, he was the clear favorite going into the final against Zverev.
On the other hand, Zverev, recently breaking into the top 20, was the surprise package in the final. It took him just an hour and 23 minutes to overcome Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, without facing any break points against him.

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