Belgium’s pocket rocket Olivier Rochus pounded out a dramatic 6-2, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4 opening upset Friday over Novak Djokovic to knock the second-seeded Serb out of the WTA and ATP Masters event.
Djokovic and Rochus were delayed for two and a half hours as a rainstorm swept over Key Biscayne.
Rochus, who stands just 1.67 metres and ranks 59th in the world, fought like a tiger throughout the contest, sweeping the first set and battling hard in the second under a barrage of break points.
The underdog was broken leading 5-4 and serving for the win in the third, but the Belgian broke back for victory as Djokovic sailed a forehand over the baseline after nearly three hours on court plus the nearly one-hour rain delay.
The Serb was left to ponder 10 double-faults and six broken serves. “He made me run a lot, the points were long, I’m exhausted,” said Djokovic. “He was playing really well today, He deserved the win.”