Djokovic has crashed out (Picture: AFP/Getty)
Novak Djokovic has crashed out of the Monte-Carlo Masters after suffering a first defeat to David Goffin, with the Belgian winning 6-2 3-6 7-5.
The two-time winner of the Masters 1000 event came up against a player in simply splendid form but it will only further add to his woes in 2017.
The world No. 2 has endured a torturous year to date, crashing out of the Australian Open in the second round, while also failing to go beyond the quarter-finals at Acapulco and Indian Wells before an elbow injury ruled him out of the Miami Open.
Djokovic put up a good fight (Picture: AFP/Getty)
And having struggled through his previous two rounds against Gilles Simon and Pablo Carreno Busta, in which he was taken to three sets, the world No. 2 came up against an in-form Goffin to add further grief.
The 29-year-old had never lost to the Belgian in their five previous meetings and won their only other encounter on clay at Roland Garros in 2013.
But it wasn’t a great start for the 12-time Grand Slam champion, with Goffin breaking in his opening service game.
Goffin was in fine form in the opening set (Picture: AFP/Getty)
His struggles continued as the 26-year-old found another break on his way to a 4-1 lead, before the world No. 13 won just the second set of his career against the Serb in just 31 minutes.
Goffin’s marvellous form continued in the second set and he sent Djokovic tumbling over in the clay after a wonderful forehand pushed him wide.
Djokovic was sent tumbling in the clay (Picture: AFP/Getty)
The Serb, with red clay smeared on the back of his white shirt, was then forced to save two break points but in doing so suddenly appeared revitalised as he broke the Belgian to love for 3-1.
Goffin, who broke into the top 10 for the first time earlier this season, saved two set points while serving at 2-5, which left Djokovic ranting furiously in Serbian but his frustration was short-lived as he served out the second set for 6-3.
An early break in the third set saw Djokovic take control but he failed to secure the double break, much to his frustration.
And his opponent, who also suffered a fall onto the clay, kept chipping away at the Serb, before breaking back himself.
It was in controversial circumstances that the Belgian came through as Djokovic was given a time violation by the umpire at deuce, having already saved four match points, and the Serb then went on to lose.
His last-four clash will be against either Rafael Nadal, chasing his 10th title in Monte Carlo, or Diego Schwartzman.
In the other semi-final, Albert Ramos-Vinolas will take on Lucas Pouille.