Novak Djokovic lost for the second time this season, falling to Jiri Vesely on the clay at Monte-Carlo 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Djokovic’s first loss was a technicality in a sense: he retired in the quarters at Dubai because he was having eye trouble. But the loss at Monte-Carlo was the real deal, with the 22-year-old Vesely needing over two hours to eliminate his prized prey. A left-handed Czech with a big serve that gave Djokovic trouble, Vesely will face the entertaining Frenchman Gael Monfils next.
The surprising second round loss for Djokovic proves nothing more than the fact that everybody has to lose sometimes. Entering Monte-Carlo, Djokovic had won nine of the last ten tournaments he entered. Though he won the Monte-Carlo Masters tournament in 2013 and arrived this year too as the defending champion, the Monaco has not been a place where Djokovic has customarily worn his king of tennis crown. Clay king Rafa Nadal won eight straight Monte-Carlo Masters beginning in 2006.