Home » Who is Luca Nardi? Tennis’ ‘lucky loser’ who eliminated Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells

Who is Luca Nardi? Tennis’ ‘lucky loser’ who eliminated Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells

Luca Nardi has pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent years on the ATP circuit, beating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters 1000.

Why is this such a big feat? Because the 20-year-old Italian entered the tournament as a ‘lucky loser’ after falling in the second round of qualifying to David Goffin.

Before his unexpected triumph over Djokovic, Nardi had only a handful of wins – along with 12 losses – in his ATP career.

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Who is Luca Nardi?

Nardi, 20, had picked up just three ATP victories before beating Djokovic.

In 2022, he defeated Alexander Shevchenko in Astana before beating Valentin Vacherot in Moncao the following year.

Only a couple of days before his Indian Wells upset, he moved past Zhizhen Zhang in the second round.

The Italian, however, has found plenty of success on the Challenger circuit. He has picked up five titles thus far and reached the ATP NextGen Finals last year.

Nardi is still yet to make his grand slam tournament debut.

He narrowly missed out on the main draw at the French Open in 2022, losing to Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the final round of qualifying.

Has Djokovic ever lost to a lucky loser?

Yes, Djokovic has been eliminated by a lucky loser, but only once before.

At an ATP event in Vienna in 2020, he lost to Lorenzo Sonego 6-2 6-1.

A similar upset occurred at Indian Wells in 2007 when Guillermo Canas entered the main draw as a lucky loser and stunned top seed Roger Federer 7-5 6-2.

Nardi – currently the world No. 123 – in the ATP rankings, became only the third player outside the top 100 to beat Djokovic at a Masters 1000 event.

The previous players to achieve the feat were Taro Daniel – also at Indian Wells in 2018 – and Kevin Anderson at Miami in 2008.

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