World No 2 Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Monte Carlo Masters after losing 2-6, 6-3, 5-7 to 10th seed David Goffin in their quarter-final encounter on Friday.
Djokovic and Goffin traded a number of blows, with both players contesting numerous break points, in a match that relentlessly swayed from one end to the other. The contest reached its peak in the third set as Djokovic fended off seven deuces and five break points to take a 4-2 lead before the players traded another five deuces and five match points as Goffin emerged victorious in the keenly-contested encounter.
Djokovic began in disastrous fashion, losing the opening game of the match on his serve. He came back strongly and forced Goffin to concede a break point in his first service game. Goffin, though, held on to take the game and with it a 2-0 lead.
Both players were part of long rallies at the start of the match, but it was Goffin, who was cutting away at his more celebrated opponent. He soon broke the Serb for the second time in the set to take a 4-1 lead. The 10th-seeded Goffin kept his calm to take the first set 6-2.
Djokovic gave away two break points early in the second game. But, remained calm enough to hold serve. The second seed made most of the break and broke his Belgian opponent to take a 3-1 lead in the second. He eventually closed out the set 6-3 to take the match into the decider.
He rode on the momentum in the third and broke Goffin to take the early advantage. Goffin, though, staged a dramatic fightback to earn a memorable win and advance to the semi-final.
Giant-killer Ramos-Vinolas strikes again
Earlier, Albert Ramos-Vinolas scored his second straight upset at the Monte Carlo Masters as the 15th seed beat fifth-seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2.
After dumping out world number one Andy Murray in the third round the day before, the diminutive Spaniard returned to knock-out mode as he tamed Cilic to surge into the first Masters 1000 semi-final of his career.
On Saturday, he will face Frenchman Lucas Pouille who came from behind in the final set to overhaul Pablo Cuevas 6-0, 3-6, 7-5 in two hours; the Uruguayan lost serve seven times.
Andy Murray to play Barcelona after Monte Carlo misery
Stuttering world number one Andy Murray will attempt to get his season back on track after the Scot accepted an invitation to compete at the Barcelona Open next week.
Murray’s Monte Carlo Masters campaign came to a premature end on Thursday when he lost to Spain’s 15th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the third round to get his clay-court campaign off to a poor start in the build-up to Roland Garros.
Murray, 29, who has played Barcelona four times and never won the ATP 500 title, joins Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem from the world top 10 in the tournament.