Paire stuns Djokovic to reach third round at Miami Open

Paire stuns Djokovic to reach third round at Miami Open

Javier Howell
March 25, 2018

"Obviously I'm not feeling great when I'm playing this way. I just have to obviously believe in myself, and hopefully it will come". I am not at the level that I used to be.

It was also only the second time he has been defeated in 32 matches at Miami as he followed up his loss in Indian Wells to Japanese journeyman Taro Daniel with another one, on top of his Australian Open exit to Hyeon Chung.

Paire's 6-3 6-4 victory over the former World #1 in just over an hour was solidified with little fuss. I'm aware of that.

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina was among the other winners as the fourth seed defeated Japan's Naomi Osaka, who won the Indian Wells title and beat Serena Williams in the first round in Miami, 6-4, 6-2.

The German, ranked fifth in the world, was a Masters champion in Rome and Montreal past year but has just one semi-final to his name in 2018 and was beaten by Joao Sousa in the second round in Indian Wells.

Djokovic sat out the last half of 2017 because of problems with his racket-swinging arm, saying it had been bothering him for more than a year.

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Former US Open victor Del Potro extended his win streak to 12 straight matches as he seeks his third straight ATP title after winning back-to-back in Acapulco and Indian Wells. And on Friday afternoon, he lost his third consecutive match, something he had not done since the end of the 2007 season, when he dropped his final five matches. "That's all. That's all it is", Djokovic said when he was asked why he was struggling to return to dominant form. "The truth is that it wasn't easy".

Djokovic was aiming to win the tournament for a record seventh time, but never looked like bettering his coach Andre Agassi's tally of six in a flat performance as his 16-match winning run in Miami came to a juddering halt.

'Obviously I compromised my game and the movement and everything because of the injury. He was also noncommittal about his schedule for the upcoming clay season. "I'm just in general trying everything I can".

Paire broke Djokovic at love to seal the win, Djokovic dumping a backhand into the net on the Frenchman's first match point.

Federer, a three-time champion in Miami, has not suffered defeat this early in Key Biscayne since 2000 when as an unseeded teenager he was beaten by Mariano Zabaleta.