A dream final between Novak Djokovic and home hero Dominic Thiem was quickly squashed Friday in Vienna.
Djokovic, who was an overwhelming favorite against lucky loser Lorenzo Sonego, was stunningly destroyed by the Italian 6-2, 6-1 in just 68 minutes.
Djokovic, who had never lost to a lucky loser before, finished with a paltry 7 winners to Sonego’s 26. And Djokovic sprayed 26 unforced errors to Sonego’s 12.
“He just blew me off the court, that’s all,” Djokovic said. “He was better in every segment of the game.
“It was a pretty bad match from my side, but amazing from his side. He definitely deserved this result.”
Djokovic, who had all but wrapped up the No. 1 ranking yesterday, lost his third match in his last four events.
“I came here with the intention to try to earn more points and secure the No. 1 at the end of the year,” Djokovic said. “I’m happy, I’m pleased, I’m healthy and hopefully I can have a strong finish in London.
“I move on completely fine with today’s result and looking to the next chapter.”
Meanwhile, Sonego collected his first career Top 10 win and biggest by far of his life.
“For sure it’s the best victory of my life. Novak is the best in the world. Today I played so, so good,” Sonego said. “It’s unbelievable. It’s amazing.
“I played the best match in my life,” he added. “I’m so happy for this.”
Djokovic wasn’t the only casualty on the day. US Open champion and Austrian hero Thiem fell to good buddy Andrey Rublev in 7-6(5), 6-2.
“Dominic is one of my best friends on the Tour. It is always tough to play against him because he is one of the best players and one of the best fighters on the Tour,” said Rublev. “I knew that it was going to be really tough. I respect him a lot.
“The first set was really tough for both of us. I think he had a little more chances than me, especially in the tie-break when the score was 4/3. We had two unreal rallies. I won both of them.”
Rublev now meets Kevin Anderson who ousted No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 7-6(5).
“I came here with the mood that I have nothing to lose,” said Rublev. “I already a really great season. Last year, I already the quarterfinals so I knew it was going to be tough for me to get to the semi-finals.
”I came here with zero expectations, just to do my best. To try to fight every match. At the end, I am here in the semifinals.”
Dan Evans completed the upset sweep by edging Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3. The Brit will now get Sonego.
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