Djokovic left down and out in Paris

World No 4 suffers shock three-set defeat by unheralded German in French Open third round

Novak Djokovic came to the French Open acknowledged as the year's second best clay-court player but the world No 4 went out of the tournament in the third round here last night when he was beaten in straight sets by the unheralded German, Philipp Kohlschreiber.

In losing 6-4 6-4 6-4, Djokovic suffered his earliest exit at Roland Garros since he was beaten in the second round by Guillermo Coria in 2005. In his previous three visits to Roland Garros the 22-year-old Serb had lost only to Rafael Nadal, the eventual winner, who beat him in the quarter-finals in 2006 and the semi-finals in 2007 and 2008.

This year there had been signs that Djokovic was getting even closer to the king of clay. Moving past Roger Federer as Nadal's most dangerous rival in the clay-court season's three Masters Series events, Djokovic lost to the Spaniard in the finals in both Monte Carlo and Rome before their epic semi-final in Madrid three weeks ago. Nadal saved three match points before winning after more than four hours.

The clay-court season had brought about a revival in Djokovic's fortunes after his disappointment in the year's first Grand Slam event at the Australian Open, where he retired with heat exhaustion against Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals. It was another day for the sunblock here yesterday, though the temperature never reached Melbourne proportions.

Kohlschreiber, 25, is the world No 31. He won minor tournaments in Munich two years ago and in Auckland last year, but his best Grand Slam performances have been two runs to the fourth round of the Australian Open, where he enjoyed his best moment by beating Roddick last year. In four previous visits to Roland Garros he had not gone past the second round.

Djokovic's game lacked zip throughout and the Serb made 38 unforced errors to Kohlschreiber's 22. The German went for his shots, though his nerve appeared to wobble when he served for the second set at 5-2, Djokovic saving one of three set points from 40-0 down with an outrageous drop shot from behind the baseline. Two games later, however, Kohlschreiber served out for the set.

With Djokovic serving at 4-4 and 30-40 in the third set, Kohlschreiber hit a superb backhand winner down the line. A mis-hit Djokovic forehand at 30-30 in the following game gave the underdog his first match point, which he converted with a lovely backhand cross-court winner to earn a fourth-round encounter with Tommy Robredo.

"He didn't give me a lot of chances but I didn't work for them," Djokovic said. "What is disappointing was that I couldn't find any rhythm throughout the whole match. I've played a lot, so mentally I'm a little bit exhausted, but that's still not an explanation for my loss today. It's a Grand Slam and I'm one of the favourites to get far in the tournament. This cannot happen. Of course it's all my fault and I accept the responsibility."

Roddick had never managed to reach the fourth round in his seven previous visits here but the American went through to the last 16 thanks to a 6-1 6-4 6-4 victory over Marc Gicquel. With Gaël Monfils, a semi-finalist last year, his next opponent, Roddick will do well to make further progress, but the world No 6 demonstrated that he is not a complete novice when it comes to clay-court tennis. He immediately took command against Gicquel, who never got to grips with Roddick's serve. "If you take away this tournament, I have a pretty good clay-court résumé," Roddick said. "I just haven't played well at this event."

Monfils earned his place in the last 16 with a 6-2 4-6 6-3 6-1 victory over Austria's Jurgen Melzer, while fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's straight-sets victory over Christophe Rochus secured a fourth-round showdown with Juan Martin del Potro. The French women equalled that performance, Virginie Razzano joining Aravane Rezai in the fourth round by beating Tathiana Garbin 7-5, 7-5.

Serena Williams struggled against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez before scraping home 4-6 6-3 6-4. The world No 2 will now face Aleksandra Wozniak, who beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino, 6-2 3-6 6-3. Elena Dementieva, the No 4 seed and a former runner-up, was beaten 6-3 4-6 6-1 by Australia's Samantha Stosur. Svetlana Kuznetsova maintained her good form, beating Melinda Czink 6-1 6-3, and has dropped only 11 games in her first three matches.

Serena in 'cheating' storm

Serena Williams accused Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of cheating after beating the Spaniard 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. In the first set the ball appeared to hit Martinez Sanchez on the hand but she was still awarded the point. Williams complained but Martinez Sanchez said the ball had not hit her. "She should have lost the point instead of cheating," Williams said. "She knew it hit her. I have no respect for anybody who can't play a professional game and just be professional out here."

Paul Newman

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game