World number one Novak Djokovic fell in straight sets to 39th-ranked Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany on Tuesday in the third round of the ATP Indian Wells Masters.
Djokovic was playing his first tournament since lifting a record seventh Australian Open title in January and had won eight of nine prior meetings with Kohlschreiber, but he could find no answer for the German in a 6-4, 6-4 loss.
Kohlschreiber posted his first victory over a top-ranked player, advancing to a fourth-round match against France’s Gael Monfils.
“I think I put out a pretty good strategy on the court,” Kohlschreiber said, “very clever serve, good return game — it was a good day.”
Kohlschreiber’s only prior win over Djokovic came back in 2009, a three-set victory at Roland Garros.
He hadn’t taken a set off Djokovic since Rome in 2014.
But in a match that resumed after rain stopped play following completion of just one game on Monday night, Kohlschreiber looked crisp and confident, breaking the Serbian star for a 4-3 lead in the first and pocketing the set with a service winner on his second set point.
Before he made it back to his courtside chair, Djokovic bashed his racquet against his foot until it broke.
The display of emotion didn’t change anything as Kohlschreiber opened the second set with a service break and broke Djokovic again in the seventh game to give himself a chance to serve for the match.
Djokovic led that game 30-15, but capped a long rally with a forehand long then double-faulted before pushing a forehand wide on break point.
Then it was Kohlschreiber’s turn to show some nerves, a sudden spate of four errors, including a double fault, giving Djokovic a break.
After Djokovic held at love, Kohlschreiber held his nerve to finish it off, gaining a match point when Djokovic’s lunging backhand went wide before Kohlschreiber fired a sideline-skimming forehand.