Who is Luca Nardi? | The Sporting Base
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Who is Luca Nardi?

March 13, 2024

Who is Luca Nardi?

The biggest story at Indian Wells so far is the fact that world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia was upset by qualifying lucky loser Luca Nardi of Italy 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Ranked 123rd in the world, Nardi only got into the main draw because Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina withdrew from the tournament because of a right hamstring injury. Ironically, because Etcheverry was seeded at number 30, Nardi got a first round bye like all the seeded players at Indian Wells.

In the second round, Nardi beat Zhizhen Zhang of China for his first win over a top 50 player on the ATP Tour. Nardi beat Zhang by a similar scoreline to Djokovic, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

The wins over Zhang and Djokovic are Nardi’s only two wins on the ATP Tour in 2024. Last year Nardi beat Valentin Vacherot of Monaco 7-5, 7-5 in the first round of the Monte Carlo and Italy’s Flavio Cobolli 3-4, 4-2, 4-3, 1-4, 4-3 at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Saudi Arabia. Nardi’s only other ATP win came in the first round of the 2022 Astana hard court tournament in Kazakhstan, as Nardi defeated Kazakhstan’s Alexander Shevchenko 7-6, 6-2 in the first round.

Meanwhile, this was Djokovic’s first loss to a player ranked outside the top 100 since he lost to no. 109 Taro Daniel of Japan 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 in 2018. Ironically, Djokovic’s loss to Daniel also happened at Indian Wells as Daniel beat Djokovic in the second round six years ago. This is the first time ever that Djokovic has lost to a player ranked as low as no. 123 at a Masters 1000 series event or grand slam according to Chris Oddo of BNP Paribas Open News.

Nardi, who is only 20 years of age, is only the second player in 2024 to beat Djokovic. The first was Jannik Sinner of Italy, who beat Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Australian Open. Next up for Nardi in the fourth round in Indian Wells is the 17th seed and  2023 Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul of the United States.


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