Djokovic Cites Off-Court Distractions Ater Defeat at Miami Open

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Djokovic Cites Off-Court Distractions Ater Defeat at Miami Open

Novak Djokovic conceded off-court distractions have proved detrimental after he suffered a surprise defeat by Roberto Bautista Agut in the Miami Open fourth round - his second early exit on the American hard courts this month.

The world No 1, who lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round at Indian Wells, has faced questions as the president of the ATP player council since the contract of the tour's president Chris Kermode was not renewed.

Djokovic dismissed suggestions a rift with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal over the ongoing fall-out from Kermode's ousting prior to the tournament and his latest setback was a 1-6 7-5 6-3 defeat against the Spanish world No 25.

The Serb has now failed to make a quarter-final at either of the Masters 1000 tournaments since 2017 and admitted he would also need to rethink his schedule.

"It's not the first time I lose early in both tournaments. I have done that the last couple of years. So definitely have to rethink how I prepare for Indian Wells/Miami next year," Djokovic said.

"I just had way too many things off the court. I guess that affected me a little bit on the court."

Djokovic won a record seventh Australian Open title and third successive Grand Slam in January but has since won just three matches, blaming "wasted opportunities" for Tuesday's defeat.

The six-time champion, who also lost to Bautista Agut at the Qatar Open in January, won the first set convincingly and after a half an hour rain delay had a break point to go up 6-5 in the second set and serve for the match.

However, Bautista Agut saved six out of seven break points and switched the momentum in his favour to take the match into a deciding set.

The Spaniard, who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals, then broke Djokovic to take a 4-2 lead before he converted his first match point to defeat the Serb and book a meeting with John Isner.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov prevailed in a thrilling encounter between two of the brightest talents of the men's game as he overcome Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

The talented pair traded from the back of the court with powerful baseline hitting and Shapovalov ultimately earned the second top-10 victory of his career as the contest ended at 1:40AM local time.

Shapovalov, seeded 20th, will need meet Frances Tiafoe in the quarter-finals after the American knocked out 18th seed David Goffin 6-4 6-4.

Two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson also reached the last eight with a 7-5 7-5 win against Australia's Jordan Thompson.

He will next meet the winner between Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev, whose match was postponed by a day due to the earlier weather disruption.

In the women's quarter-finals, Petra Kvitova missed out on the chance to become the world No 1 for the first time next week after she suffered a 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-2 defeat against Ashleigh Barty.

The Czech, who was playing hours after a man was jailed for eight years for stabbing her at her home in December 2016, needed to reach the final to maintain her chances of overtaking Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings.

Two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson also reached the last eight with a 7-5 7-5 win against Australia's Jordan Thompson.

He will next meet the winner between Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev, whose match was postponed by a day due to the earlier weather disruption.

In the women's quarter-finals, Petra Kvitova missed out on the chance to become the world No 1 for the first time next week after she suffered a 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-2 defeat against Ashleigh Barty.

The Czech, who was playing hours after a man was jailed for eight years for stabbing her at her home in December 2016, needed to reach the final to maintain her chances of overtaking Naomi Osaka at the top of the rankings

Barty, who lost to Kvitova in the Australian Open semi-finals, sealed her first win in five attempts against the two-time Wimbledon champion.

Second seed Simona Halep faces Qiang Wang and Czech Karolina Pliskova meets Marketa Vondrousova in the last two quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Romanian Halep will replace Osaka, who lost to Su-Wei Hsieh in the third round, as world No 1 if she reaches the final.

Source: Skysports