Novak Djokovic’s ugly net exchange with world No.123 Luca Nardi revealed

An ugly fallout has emerged from Novak Djokovic’s shock loss to world No.123 Luca Nardi at Indian Wells.

It was the worst loss of the world No.1’s storied career and it included a meltdown during the second set.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Djokovic blows up during shock loss.

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The Serbian was called out for complaining to the chair umpire over a non-hindrance call when Nardi briefly stopped mid-point before quickly regrouping to hit a winner.

That incident happened at 2-0 in the second set, but Djokovic was able to easily recover to win the set and send the match into a decider.

While Djokovic was uncharacteristically sloppy, Nardi was sharp, racing around the court and pounding serves and forehands to beat the 24-time grand slam champion he grew up idolising.

After the final point, the two came to the net for the customary handshake where they exchanged words.

It was originally thought that Djokovic apologised for his second-set blow-up, but it’s now alleged that the Serbian superstar had a crack at his Italian opponent.

Novak Djokovic and Luca Nardi exchange words after the match. Credit: TennisTV

It’s been reported he said “non era giusto, pero bravo”, which translates to “It’s not right, but bravo. It’s not right, but bravo,” clearly referencing the second-set incident that was still weighing on Djokovic’s mind.

Nardi then replied, “sorry, sorry I didn’t mean to disrespect you.”

Fans were up in arms with the incident.

“Appalling that Djokovic brought up the stopping play incident when he shook Nardi’s hand at the net. 1) that point had nothing to do with the outcome of the match, 2) it’s not Nardi’s call to make, 3) umpire made the right call. “Stopping” happens all the time and never called,” tennis reporter Ricky Dimon wrote.

“Djokovic has no self awareness. I’m still baffled at how he thought anyone but he himself was to blame for that point during the Nardi match. He had no right to call out Nardi at the net either, just a really bad look for someone of his status,” a fan said.

“Djokovic berating Nardi after the match for doing nothing wrong is a new low,” another said.

In his post-match media conference, Djokovic was shocked with how bad he played.

“He really didn’t have anything to lose, so he played great. Deserved to win,” Djokovic said of his 6-4 3-6 6-3 defeat.

“I was more surprised with my level. My level was really, really bad.

“These two things come together. He’s having a great day, I’m having a really bad day.

“I made some really terrible unforced errors.

“Just quite defensive tennis and not much on the ball in the third, and that’s it. He just stepped in and he used the time that he had.

“He was playing more free and more aggressive than I did, and going for his shots and that break on 3-2 in the third was enough.”

Djokovic, who lost to another Italian, Jannik Sinner, in the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January, said he would likely take the court in search of his first title of the year at the Miami Open later this month.

“No titles this year, that’s not something I’m used to,” he said.

“I was starting the season most of my career with a grand slam win or, you know, Dubai win, or any tournament,” he said.

“I guess every trophy that eventually comes my way is going to be great, obviously to break the kind of negative cycle a little bit I’m having in the last three, four tournaments where I haven’t really been close to my best.”

Nardi, who hailed his shock victory a “miracle” will next face American Tommy Paul.

– With AAP

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