No.6 seed Novak Djokovic fell to a surprise defeat by world no.140 Martin Klizan 2-6, 6-1, 3-6 in the second round of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Wednesday.
Klizan produced a solid attacking display to beat Novak in one hour and 39 minutes.
The two split one-sided sets before a break in the eighth game of the deciding third set earned Klizan the chance to serve for the match. He won it on the second match point, as Djokovic hit a forehand into the net.
This was the fifth career meeting between Nole and the Slovak qualifier, and Klizan’s first victory.
Novak hit 19 winners but struggled with his backhand, making 22 unforced errors.
“I feel I haven’t lived up to your expectations, not even my own,” Djokovic said. “It’s hard to deal with these types of games and defeats, I wasn’t playing at my best, only during the second set. I will try to continue and see where it takes me.”
Match statistics: aces (5-4), double faults (2-4), total points won (65-63).
Next tournament for Novak will be the Mutua Madrid Open from May 6 to May 13.
The Serbian star lifted the trophy twice in the capital of Spain, in 2011 and 2016. Last year he lost to Rafael Nadal in semis (2-6, 4-6).