WATCH: Luca Nardi’s ‘Tommy Paul for what?’ reply as Italian also makes Novak Djokovic funny confession

Shahida Jacobs
A happy Luca Nardi
Luca Nardi of Italy reacts after winning his tennis match

Luca Nardi caused a sensation at the Indian Wells Open as he defeated Novak Djokovic in the third round and later he inadvertently came up with a funny reply to a question about his next opponent.

The 20-year-old Nardi pulled off one of the biggest upsets in tennis as he became the first lucky loser to beat the great Djokovic in professional tennis as he defeated his idol Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Ranked No 123, the youngster is also the lowest-ranked player to beat Djokovic at ATP Masters 1000 or Grand Slam level and the fourth lowest-ranked player to beat a reigning World No 1 at a Masters tournament.

Up next is 17th seed Tommy Paul after the American defeated 14th seed Ugo Humbert in straight sets, but Nardi wasn’t aware who his next opponent was when asked for his thoughts on Paul during the post-match press conference.

He replied: “Tommy Paul for what? I play against him? Oh, really? (Laughter.)

“I didn’t know. I mean… I didn’t check the draw. Okay. So thanks for letting me know.

“I mean, I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know it, so for sure I will prepare the match with my coaches. And it’s going to be a very tough one, because he’s playing very good. I like his game, his style. Let’s see what happen.”

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In the build-up to his match against Djokovic, Nardi made no secret of the fact that the 24-time Grand Slam winner was and still is his favourite player and after his victory he was asked if he still has a poster of the Serbian on his bedroom door.

“Yeah, I do, yes. Every night I go to bed I see Novak. I think starting from now, I will keep going, now, for sure (smiling),” he said.

“No, I’m kidding, but yes, I have it and I think that I will keep it.”

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic ‘under fire’ for comments to Luca Nardi after shocking Indian Wells defeat

But his win over Djokovic is part of a crazy week for the Italian as he lost in the second round of qualifying against David Goffin, but then entered the tournament when 30th seed Tomas Etcheverry withdrew.

He went straight into the second round and then claimed the biggest win of his career as he beat world No 50 Zhang Zhizhen before going even bigger against the world No 1.

“No one could imagine it. I was, like, third lucky loser,” he said. “Even that, it was something surprise me when I get in. Even for me, I never, like, beat top 50. I also beat Zhang in the first round. Now, Djokovic, I don’t know what to say about it. For sure I would say to him that he’s crazy, yeah.”