Instead it was Nadal who won a 50th title on clay taking him clear of Guillermo Vilas as the most successful man on the surface and the first man to ever win 10 titles at the same venue.
World number seven, Rafael Nadal, overcame Belgium's David Goffin in straight sets to reach the final of the Monte Carlo Masters. Hence, by the time you read this, only one of them would've advanced to the final; or in the unlikeliest of scenarios - neither.
He has now won an ATP event for the 14th consecutive year after losing his first three finals of 2017.
You would be courageous to predict anything but more success for the man who is a nine-time champion at Roland Garros. The first title on clay makes a big difference.
Compatriot, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, stands between him and his 10th Monte Carlo Masters title in Sunday's final.
Nadal's 70 titles are three better than Djokovic, who is a year younger. "It's tough to believe that I am again in a final here, it is unbelievable news for me", Nadal said. After holding easily with a neat volley at the net, Pouille got the crowd going and then played his best tennis of the match. Wawrinka might be eying Wimbledon glory, after having won all the other majors, and so it wouldn't come as a surprise if he as a low-key clay season. He will also have his sights set on a 10th title in Barcelona next week - Nadal's previous career title was there, nearly one year ago.
Tennis Channel and it's Tennis Channel Live Streaming online is providing the Monte Carlo Masters final game for the United State of America. "When he's a little bit better in everything, the difference after, it's what we saw in the match", said Ramos-Vinolas.
Djokovic, the champion here in 2013 and 2015, hugged him at the net.
Meanwhile, Ilie Nastase, the captain of Romania's Fed Cup team, has been provisionally suspended from the competition for abusing players and the umpire during the playoff match against Britain.
Now then, with none of his traditional rivals really coming forward on clay, is Nadal ready to conquer clay once again?
"I never take Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid like a preparation for any other tournament". But until now he had never even made a Masters quarter-final let alone a final.
Nadal has beaten 29-year-old Ramos-Vinolas in their two previous clashes, both times on clay in Barcelona.
Goffin denied Djokovic a possible 50th career match against defending champion Rafael Nadal, who was playing the last remaining quarterfinal against unseeded Diego Schwartzman. With Federer showing what one can achieve at 35, Nadal would be looking to follow suit.
Novak Djokovic is becoming secondary to the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.