Djokovic stunned by Austrian Thiem in Monte Carlo
Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters by an inspired Dominic Thiem in the third round on Thursday, with the Austrian fifth seed progressing to a possible quarter-final with Rafael Nadal.
Thiem, a two-time French Open semi-finalist, was the better player for much of the match and won 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 6-3 despite a battling effort from Djokovic.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion has still not reached a quarter-final since Wimbledon last July after struggling with a right elbow injury.
Djokovic, 30, had said he was pain-free in Monte Carlo for the first time in two years, but Thiem backed up his French Open quarter-final win over the Serbian from last year with another impressive victory.
The 24-year-old will take on either world number one Nadal or Russian Karen Khachanov in Friday's quarter-finals.
Thiem started strongly, but threw away three set points as Djokovic dug deep to claim the first set in a tie-break.
The Austrian recovered his composure midway through the second set, though, reeling off five consecutive games to extend the match.
He made the crucial breakthrough in game seven of the deciding set with a venomous backhand up the line, and closed it out with another break on his second match point.
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