Djokovic Upset By Goffin, Nadal Draw Opens in Semifinals at ATP Monte Carlo
by Staff | April 21st, 2017, 6:44 pm

The upsets kept coming in the Friday quarterfinals at the Monte Carlo Masters, where local resident and world No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 5 seed Marin Cilic were upset on the red clay.
Djokovic was outlasted 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 by No. 10 seed David Goffin of Belgium. By the end of the third set Djokovic was wincing and appeared gassed after long rallies.

“It doesn’t matter how you played before against [Djokovic],” Goffin said. “You just have to do your best and give everything on the court. Maybe once, like today, it goes well…I now have more experience than in the past. I am better able to manage these matches and these victories. I know there’s a lot of emotion. You lose a lot of energy in a match like that one.”

Djokovic did take a nasty spill in the second set when going wide for a ball.

“I started slowly probably because I played two long matches,” said Djokovic. “But I thought as the match progressed I was feeling okay. You know, I was physically fine…I had my chances, I definitely did. I just didn’t use them.”

Goffin in the semifinals will meet No. 4-seeded Rafael Nadal, who continued his historically-brutal Monte Carlo form, defeating unseeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4.

“It wasn’t easy to find a real way to win, but I played much better in the last three-and-a-half games, more aggressive with my forehand,” said Nadal who is attempting to raise a 10th career Monte Carlo trophy. “I am in the semifinals. That’s what I’m looking for, a great start to the clay-court season.”

Schwartzman dropped to 0-10 career against Top 10 opponents.

Cilic like Djokovic was also ground down on the dirt, outlasted 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2 by No. 15 seed Al Ramos-Vinolas.

Ramos-Vinolas will next face No. 11-seeded Lucas Pouille, who fought off a late charge to defeat No. 16 seed Pablo Cuevas 6-0, 3-6, 7-5.

“If I say I’m not thinking about [reaching the final] at all, I would be lying,” Pouille said. “It is human. The draw has become completely open with the seeded players having lost. It’s an opportunity for me, but also for him. Ramos has played well and beaten very good players to reach this stage. It’s going to be a very tough match.”

COURT RAINIER III start 11:30 am
[7] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs [2] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
Not Before 1:30 pm
[15] A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [11] L. Pouille (FRA)
Not Before 3:30 pm
[4] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [10] D. Goffin (BEL)
R. Bopanna (IND) / P. Cuevas (URU) vs [WC] R. Arneodo (MON) / H. Nys (FRA)

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52 Comments for Djokovic Upset By Goffin, Nadal Draw Opens in Semifinals at ATP Monte Carlo

chrisford1 Says:

chrisford1 the Djokovic fan now finally pushes the panic button.
“Warning! Danger ! Aooogah! Aooogah!”.
What the heck happened to the guy???

kjb Says:

“chrisford1 the Djokovic fan now finally pushes the panic button.
“Warning! Danger ! Aooogah! Aooogah!”.
What the heck happened to the guy???”

Happens to all the greats when they get to be that age. Part motivation, part physical, lots of matches in the legs. He will be 30 in a couple weeks, he will have to find his motivation and I’m sure he will be back to winning again. He just will never dominate again. Same thing happened to Sampras and Fed at that age.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

CF, i checked it out. The only years Sampras was #1 that he had periods of futility this severe were 97-99. And in that period, in 97, Agassi was far from #2, and when he got back to #2 in 99, he won the French. So it just doesn’t add up, factually. Although Sampras did have a few clay droughts, he had a Chang or Rios to clean up there.

Can anyone actually find a real instance where a #1 and 2 have had a 4-“major/masters” streak with just ONE QF between them?

This is a historic slump for a #1 and 2 at the same time. Its a testament to their 52-week dominance that they can still continue so secure in their rankings!

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I’m a bit distracted by hockey right now, to tell the truth. But this is a major major shake-up to the status quo of the last TEN YEARS when 4 guys have made just about EVERY semifinal of every major and masters.

DC Says:

Nole may have realised that he needs to sacrifice another 4-5 years to have a good chance to breaks Feds records.
imo he doesn’t want to put in more effort and settle for the no2 or no3 best player.
Can’t blame him. Chasing Nadals and Feds records is exhaustive and will requires a lot of sacrifice.

I also think Nole doesn’t enjoy playing the grinding tennis he has to in order to win.
His natural style is more like Fed; be aggressive, hit high risk entertaining shots that excite yourself and others. However he has also realised he can’t win playing that way. Don’t get me wrong here.- the points he plays may be exciting, however the shots necessarily may not be.

I think we may have seen the best of Nole. He’s crossing 30 this year, has a lot of mileage.If he does get back into form, don’t expect him to win like he did in the past few years

Nits Says:

Road is sometimes bumpy sometimes smooth. Smooth for Federer bumpy for Djokovic now. Can change anytime soon. Till then it’s heartache for fans. Being a Nadal fan have seen this a lot with injuries, uprising of Djokovic and mental woes. Sympathy to all Nole fans.

Michael Says:

The unexpected slump of Novak thought to be ephemeral now threatens to be perduring. What should be discomfiting is that he is struggling nowadays to even reach the later stages of tournaments losing to players midway whom he would have beaten 10 of 10 in his hey days. This is surely an alarm Bell and it remains to be seen as to how Novak rises upto the challenge and reverse the slide sooner than later. Now that awe factor is gone life will be tough for Novak on Court as even B grade players will fancy managing an upset win against him.The coming days will establish if Novak emerges resilient as he has been always right through his thorny career rising bravely to the challenge and emerge as a force to reckon with yet again.

Van Persie Says:

The slump is not so much a surprise for me after the FO. Was more bothered by the Pepe thing. Would have prefered Nole to take a few months off last year, than to show up like he did. He is much better now, mentally.
Do not have high expectations from this clay season, but I think Nole will recover this year. Will not be dominant like he was during last years, but he will manage to stay in top 3-5. We’ll see.

Van Persie Says:

Will not be easy for him to get back to his form, in which he was in 2015. That’s for sure. He should be hungry enough for it first.

Van Persie Says:

Curious to see if it will be all about Rafa on clay this year.

HJF Says:

Thought when Novak went a break up he would close out the match in that third set hmm ….

Michael Says:

A break up and still end up losing ? Not a good sign for Novak. These days when I watch his matches all the players are producing their very best against him in crucial moments. Against big servers, he struggles and players like Isner, Krygios just enjoy a special day of high percentage first serves on Court which can upset any player and even a best returner like Novak.

HJF Says:

A Break up is no guarantee that a player will close out a match, Rafa was a break up in the AO final against Federer and still lost ….

HJF Says:

And maybe thats the whole point, could be that Novaks opponents are actually better than he is, rather than being down to the fact that he was the one playing badly ….

rognadfan Says:

Bad loss for Nole yesterday!Even though I don’t support the guy as a Fan, I was kind of rooting for him to show up for these tournaments just for my own entertainment sake. I had felt that murray would loose early but didn’t think Novak would go out in the hands of Goffin. Goffin is a great player with easy natural tennis. I love his game but still I thought Novak would beat him.

But that’s the professional sports for ya. These sort of peaks and valleys are inevitable. The question is, can he come back to the peak? Or he will be just all spent on the mid-slope.

J-Kath Says:

It’s somewhat ironic that AVR is in Andy Murray’s half of the draw at Barcelona and Goffin is in Nadal’s half.

skeezer Says:

You’re never going to see Ramos-Vinolas in a final of any other surface. Thats a statement for this surface.

Pranesh Says:

I think Novak is suffering from a curious malaise, with a combination of mental exhaustion after his superhuman 2015/16, increasing family commitments, subtle aging, and the difficulty in producing his exhausting game. Winning on clay is especially difficult for him, and his game simply doesn’t translate well on this surface. Before we write him off I think we should wait for the North American hard-court swing, this is traditionally his strongest time of year. I think we can expect one or two more majors from him, and with a little luck three. His age of complete dominance, however, is over.

Truth Says:

I don’t understand why he needs the money so much.
He can do his restaurant business and not have to think about competing a lot. Tennis is not his passion.
Djoker is totally gone and the crowd shouldn’t go to matches & watch him anymore. Even he said “I don’t know”.
This is the lie that he’s living and there’s no point in faking excitement on the court and real life.
You don’t stand stiffly and barely move on the court and say the opponent is just superior to you.
That’s insulting the opponent. The other guy feels bad because you pretend to give a good fight.
Depressing stuff.

Daniel Says:

Goffin robbed this game. The ball was clearly out amd game was his. Now it becames mental

Hope he holds because if Nadal Breaks, undeservadly, it will cost Goffing the set.

skeezer Says:

Saw that too. What a bunch a crock. How can you miss a mark on Clay? Dufus!
Now Goffin as I type is still having to serve that game, like 5 mnutes later!

Daniel Says:

That’s why I hate not havig hawkeye on clay. Mark my a$&. Sometimes the use different mark.

skeezer Says:

Feel super bad for Goffin, and the crowd knows it too. Is the umpire on Rafa’s teams payroll? Geez!

skeezer Says:

I remember them talking about Hawkeye for Clay, They said no need as there is always clearly a mark. Guess what? That still doesn’t work apparently and you could be accused of match fixing. just sayin….bring Hawkeye to Clay.

Van orten Says:

Worst line call ever . What was wrong with the ref. ?????
Nadal taking full advantage. Well nadal winning again one vs a no top ten player like all year

Daniel Says:

That changed the match and it robbed the viewers

skeezer Says:

Hate to see one shot be the defacto difference in a match. But you all saw the air go out of Goffins game after that happened, no matter how he tried to battle it. It is totally unfair at this point whether he wins or loses. He shouldn’t of had to play 5-10min more of serving to battle that game. He won it. Big bummer. Big black eye for this tourney.

Van orten Says:

I see fed coming back and beat nadal in Paris easily

Van Persie Says:

It was a bad call, but it was not Rafa’s fault…and Goffin lacks the experience to get over it. Feel for him.
The umpire ruined the match.

Giles Says:

Van Orten. Lol. Hallucinating again??

Van Persie Says:

Rafa would have won anyway

HJF Says:

Hate to see a contentious decision decide the outcome of a match, even if i am a fan of the guy that won ….

Humble Rafa Says:

I hope someone is paying attention to the breadsticks I have been delivering to some so called top players. Be very afraid. Humble is back. Happy to put Goffin in the coffin and move on to the next pest.

Humble Rafa Says:

If Mr. Pouille wants to be successful, he needs a new name.

Zachary Grace Says:

Which top player humble? Nobody ranked higher than what..13th?

HJF Says:

Not a players fault if the rest lost early ….

montecarlo Says:

Nadal would have won 6-4,6-1 anyway so the line call didn’t matter.

BTW have a look at this-

Same chair umpire. And Nadal knows how to win after bad calls.

J-Kath Says:

Van Persie

This is for you VP – although it starts with Rafa, it has BB re. Nole as part 2.

J.S. Says:

On TV was the ball out? Because at the tourney they didn’t show the replay…both players suffered from the call!
Drunk fans were yelling something at Rafa as he served! Not sure if they were drunk or just rude, and David couldn’t get past it!
BTW it wasn’t rafas fault – blame the umpire NOT the player – nothing fun about that match!! I felt bad for both!!


chrisford1 Says:

TV – ” But this is a major major shake-up to the status quo of the last TEN YEARS when 4 guys have made just about EVERY semifinal of every major and masters.”

Absolutely agree with you on that one. 2007 was when Andy and Nole arrived in their development to full form and joined Fedal. And the Domination by one or the other of the 4 goes back to 2004 and actually still continues..

Daniel Says:


Not so sure Nadal would have won 6-4. That 13 min game woudl have end earlier and goffin would be leading 4-2 at theat point with nadal serving.

We would never know.

But he was never in the matchagain after he lost that game. And tgat was a pitty due to atp still using the “clay leaves a mark rule”. Every clay season the same thing happen eventually in a match.

It’s bizarre that the potential outcome of this match and tourney could have been decided over a silly unecessary argument with technology at hand today.

Daniel Says:

Even so, congrats Nadal on a most deserving MC title, 10th. Has abymodu ever won same tournament 10 times?

Finally winning a title and getting gear up for RG, which shoudl be his main target for the season.

msecat Says:

I like to visit this site because the same posters are so pathetically predictable that it amuses me no end. Discrediting Nadal’s victory over an incident, which, while unfortunate, he had no control over, is totally logical, right? Let’s not bother with the fact that if Goffin wants to ascend any higher than he is now, then he’s just going to have to learn to get over this kind of crap that has happened to every tennis player at some point, and not fall apart — which is exactly what the posters who are so outraged by the unfairness of it all would be proclaiming if that had been Fed today instead of Rafa. I don’t know if Nadal would have won or not had that not happened, but the odds are favorable he would have found a way. It not like he’s never lost a first set and come back. It’s what champions do, i believe.

J.S. Says:

I just simply asked if the ball was indeed OUT?? No one answerd me…
Sitting in the 3rd row and on the same side of the court as Rafa when this happened… one in my section knew if it was in or out. SO I don’t think Rafa knew either!

The crowd was HORRIBLE and I won’t be back!
Regardless if the Umpire made a bad call – the reaction of the crowd in the wealthiest city in the country, acted like hillbillies!

I am still sick for Rafa not being able to enjoy his victory and sick that Goffin thinks that’s why he lost!!!

J-Kath Says:

J.S.: Sorri you won’t be back. The French are the most arrogant race in the world, but I admit I love them most of the time….their sangfroid attitude is so outrageous it’s awesome. They obviously had their hopes pinned on Goffin (their next door neighbour).

You have been a star with your reports – you have helped a lot of us to absorb the flavour of the tournament.

Keep smiling

chrisford1 Says:

The problem with Nadal winning into double digits on clay surfaces is that it pigeonholes and finishes him in the history books as just a clay court player (best clay man ever, of course) who got lucky now and then off clay. Not a true all around player like Federer, possibly Djokovic and Andy, in this generation. Only 1/3rd of his titles have come away from dirt. Almost none indoors.
He’d be better off with a WTF win or two and another off-clay Slam.
And his last off-clay title in Masters 1000 play was 4 years ago.

“La Decimas!!” if gained at MC, Barcelona, the French Open — with 7 Romes thrown in….will somehow become thought of as evidence Rafa was tough to face in a match, on clay. But a stunted player other surfaces.
Rafa oesn’t deserve to be remembered that way. He was just as tough on grass and hardcourt. Just didn’t win as much when it came down to who in the Final 4 would… .

Anto Says:


Well sure there is a high possibility that he will be remembered like that (great in clay ok in other surfaces). But for that we can’t do anything can we? Nor does rafa can not win it just cos some people (may be many) will think he is a stunted player in other surfaces.

But I don’t think Nadal will be remembered like that, at least not to tennis pundits and his competitors.

Danica Says:

Rafa will be remembered as on of the best ever. No matter the surface.

There was a bad call or no call for that matter in the 3rd set of Novak-Goffin match. Nole was leading 2:0, 30:40 and Goffin was serving the 2nd serve. It was out. It should have been 3:0 for Novak.

Anto Says:


Even though you have a point, you cannot compare that call with this one. Even being a Rafa fan i can very well say that was one of the most stupidest calls I have ever seen in any sport and that too a overrule. But what I fail to understand is if this umpire has a history of making bad calls why is still umpiring? Is there no penalty for the umpire for these kinda mistakes?

Van Persie Says:


Thanks for the article.

Danica Says:

I was not comparing the calls. I just wanted to mention this as no one seems to point it out. After deuce in that game, Goffin again served a long serve that was not called.

Anyway, on another thread (about the call) I stated that it may have been a bad call but, somehow the player needs to overcome it and find the strength to continue. I read that Goffin was the better player and just mentally faded after that rulling.

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