Novak Djokovic loses to David Goffin at Monte Carlo Masters

David Goffin celebrates his win against Novak Djokovic
David Goffin leads the ATP World Tour for most match wins (23) in 2017

Novak Djokovic's comeback from injury was cut short at the Monte Carlo Masters as Belgium's David Goffin earned the biggest win of his career.

World number two Djokovic, playing his second match following an elbow injury, lost 6-2 3-6 7-5 in the quarter-final.

Goffin, who had not previously beaten a top-three player, will meet Spanish 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal.

Meanwhile, Britain's Andy Murray will play in Barcelona next week following his early exit in Monte Carlo.

Goffin, ranked 13th in the world, earned his first career win over Djokovic by taking his fifth match point in a dramatic 11-minute final game.

It ended the Serb's hopes of a third title in Monte Carlo, which is an ATP World Tour 1000 event and considered a key part of preparations for the French Open in May.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion looked in trouble after losing the first set and then suffering a heavy fall early in the second.

But he showed no serious damage after falling into the courtside advertising hoardings, improving to break Goffin's serve in game four as he went on to level.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic joined Andy Murray and third seed Stan Wawrinka in suffering early exits

Goffin, 26, lost his serve in the opening game of the decider, only to fight back and level at 4-4 by taking his seventh break point of the set.

The pair traded holds in the next three games before nerves appeared to affect Goffin as he squandered four match points in what proved to be the final game.

But he refocused to win at the fifth attempt when Djokovic, who had been given a time violation moments earlier, hit a forehand into the net.

It was Goffin's first win in six meetings with Djokovic and his first victory in 15 matches against a player ranked in the top three.

Nadal moves closer to 10th Monte Carlo title

Nadal, nicknamed the 'King of Clay' and a nine-time previous champion in Monte Carlo, is the heavy favourite to triumph following the exits of Djokovic, Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

The 30-year-old won 6-4 6-4 in his quarter-final against Diego Schwartzman.

The Argentine, whose three wins this week will move him into the world's top 40 for the first time on Monday, fought back from 4-1 down to 4-4 in the opening set before Nadal regained control.

The 24-year-old remained unfazed by his illustrious opponent, breaking Nadal's serve to lead 4-2 in the second.

But Nadal dug deep to rattle off four straight games and ensure Schwartzman's winless run against top 10 opponents was extended to a 10th match.

Earlier, Spanish clay-court specialist Albert Ramos-Vinolas followed up his victory over Murray with a 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 victory against Croatian fifth seed Marin Cilic.

He will play France's Lucas Pouille, who beat Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas 6-0 3-6 7-5, in Saturday's other semi-final.

Murray hopes to find fitness and form in Barca

Andy Murray, 29, has accepted a last-minute wildcard at the Barcelona Open as he looks to continue his own recovery from an elbow injury.

The world number one, who fell to a shock third-round defeat by Ramos, is looking to build up clay-court time before Roland Garros.

The Scot will join Nadal and six other members of the world's top 20 in the Barcelona draw.

Jamie Murray followed his younger brother out of the Monte Carlo event when he was knocked out of the men's doubles quarter-finals on Friday.

The 31-year-old and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares, who were seeded third, lost 2-6 7-6 3-10 against wildcard French pair Hugo Nys and Romain Ameodo.

Jamie Murray out of Monte Carlo Masters
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares won the Australian and US Open men's doubles titles together last year

Jamie

Top Stories