Luca Nardi leaves Djokovic without Indian Wells Round of 16: The 20-year-old who grew up with posters of the Serbian in his room

Italian tennis player Luca Nardi in his third-round match against Novak Djokovic (Jane Kamin-Oncia-USA TODAY Sports)

“Novak is my great childhood idol, “I grew up with posters of them in my room,” he confessed. Luca Nardi Shortly before the start of the third round match in Indian Wells. He lost to David Goffin in the last round of the qualifying stage, however, a defeat to Tomas Echeverri gave him entry. lucky loser, “I wasn’t planning to stay here, I was hoping to leave the next day. I stopped because there was little chance of getting in and it happened, but “My mind was already on the next tournament,” Italian says.

So far this season he has not won any main draw match. Or he had not done so till yesterday. With his mind almost torn from California, the young man leapt onto the court to face an opponent whom a few hours earlier he had declared his “childhood idol.” At number 123 in the ranking He was not satisfied with merely enjoying the game. He delighted the public with his excellent tennis and performances He defeated Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6 and 6-3. Thus the Round 16 of the tournament was confirmed. With this win, he became the lowest-ranked player to defeat the Serbian at a Grand Slam or Masters 1,000, surpassing the then-current victory. No. 122 Kevin Anderson in the tournament Miami 2008.

You may be interested in: Paula Badosa’s surprising reflection after missing out on Indian Wells: “When I retire…”

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Luca Nardi has had a photo of Djokovic on his bedroom door since he was eight years old.

Today they came face to face for the first time.

And he beat him.

– Tennis Set (@settenisok) 12 March 2024

Nardi noted double winning shot -34 versus 17- compared to his opponent, and presumably, this is what forced him to commit More than twice as many unforced errors -19 against nine-. “I had nothing to lose,” said the Serbian after the match, who seemed “surprised” by his level. “It was very, very bad. Both things have come together. She’s having a great day and I’m having a bad day. The result is negative for me,” He reflected. “I hope I can win more tournaments and break this negative cycle that I’ve had in past tournaments, where I’m nowhere near my best moment,” he confessed, making sure that he “Will analyze what I did, what I did.” I could do better and move on from there.

“I don’t know how I did it, It’s a miracle”, The Italian seemed surprised. “I’m a 20-year-old boy who beat the No. 1 player in the world, this is insane”, continued in Shock After his victory.

He started achieving achievements at an early age. In fact, he was the youngest tennis player Add ATP points only at age 14. His progress was steady, but since 2023, the Italian has been showing a good level, aiming to be able to be on par with the best. It is visible.

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Italian tennis is in good hands 🙌@Luca___Nardi @janniksin#tennisparadise

– Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 12 March 2024

Close to breaking into the top-100, which is essential for his career, as it will allow him to directly enter the tables of important tournaments, he remembers his beginning. “To think about where I started, in a small tennis club where I was very shy on the court. My mother had to be at the net post because I needed her presence there. “I needed someone I could trust,” he says. “To be here now, playing in a stadium like this against the No. 1 player in the world, is a big thing for me, ” He said, he was grateful for the opportunity that his career had given him, and also, without a doubt, he knew the leverage.

The Italian’s only experience against an elite player within the top-10 was at the Astana 2022 tournament with Stefanos Tsitsipas. he managed to force two the tie breaks, But the Greek maintained the victory: “That day I learned with these types of players “You cannot lose concentration even on one point.” Now, with his mind set on the Round of 16, Nardi assured Novak’s poster will remain in place: “Every night when I go to bed the last thing I see is Novak. I think I will continue like this from now on.”

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