Djokovic 'very proud' as three-year run ends at Indian Wells

By Sacha Pisani 16 March 2017 224
Djokovic 'very proud' as three-year run ends at Indian Wells

Five-time champion Novak Djokovic expressed pride with his 19-match winning streak at the BNP Paribas Open, despite crashing out on Wednesday.

Seeking a fourth consecutive Indian Wells title, second seed Djokovic was sent packing by Nick Kyrgios 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in the last 16 as he lost at the tournament for the first time since 2013.

Former world number one and 12-time grand-slam champion Djokovic had not lost in the Californian desert since 2013, when he went down to Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals.

"The run was amazing. I am very proud of it, obviously. Unfortunately, it had to end at some stage," Djokovic said.

"Nick, again, as he did in Acapulco earlier, few weeks ago, he served so well. Just wasn't managing to get a lot of balls back on his serve, first and second, as well. That's what made a difference.

"He obviously comes out playing his style, very aggressive, and just going for every serve, whether it's first or second. It's obviously very hard to play like that."

It was the second time in a fortnight that Djokovic had lost to Australian star Kyrgios.

Djokovic went down in Acapulco and he suffered another defeat this week at the ATP 1000 tournament, having struggled against Kyrgios' serve.

Kyrgios fired down 14 aces and won 86 per cent of his first serves without facing a break point.

"On his first serves, to try to anticipate and read his serve, where he's going to go 140 miles per hour down the T and also pretty good angle wide, it's hard to position yourself well... It is a gamble," the Serbian added. 

"His second serve, if you think you're going to have a look at it, you don't, because he goes for it as well. He didn't make too many double faults."

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Sacha Pisani