Monte-Carlo Masters 1000: Djokovic moves to quarter, Medvedev and Zverev eliminated

Novak Djokovic looked out of sorts at times and made several unforced errors, but he took his game up a notch during the important points to advance to the quarter-finals of the Monte-Carlo Masters , THURSDAY.

The Serbian, best player in the world and double champion in Monte-Carlo, took his revenge at the expense of Lorenzo Musetti, who defeated him in the third round last year. Djokovic converted five of his six break points and scored a 7-5, 6-3 victory.

“The challenge was very difficult today. I lost to him last year at the same time during the tournament. I am proud to have regained efficiency,” said Djokovic, who is playing his first tournament since cutting ties with his former coach, Goran Ivanisevic.

Djokovic hasn’t played much this year and is 10-3. His best result came in the semi-final of the Australian Open. He is using the Monte-Carlo tournament on clay to refine his preparation for the Roland-Garros tournament next month.

Djokovic immediately lost his serve and had difficulty adjusting to Musetti’s variety of shots. The Italian had some nice drop shots, he was good on the baseline and his one-handed backhand put the Serb on his heels.

The turning point came in the eighth game, when Djokovic broke Musetti after the latter had let a 40-0 lead slip away. The Serb got another break at 12e game, following a double fault from his opponent.

“It’s clay, so things can turn around quickly,” Djokovic said. A break of serve is not a big advantage on this surface. I’m just proud that staying aggressive paid off in the good times. »

Djokovic won the title in Monte Carlo in 2013 and 2015. He had not reached the quarterfinals at this event since his last title nine years ago.

He will now cross swords with Alex de Minaur, who beat Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-4.

Medvedev eliminated

Earlier in the day, Russian Karen Khachanov reached the quarter-finals in Monte-Carlo for the first time in her career after overtaking her compatriot and no 4 world Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 7-5.

The match was fiercely contested, with the tennis players engaging in long exchanges at the back of the court. They slammed heavy balls, at a steady pace, for most of the match, but it was ultimately Khachanov who came out on top in the crucial moments.

The 17the world player therefore defeated Medvedev after an hour and 53 minutes of play on Monegasque clay, signing his fourth career victory against a player in the top-5 in the world – and his first this season.

“I lost a few close matches against him on cement. I have had good career results on clay, even if I never won a title, Khachanov explained in a post-match interview on the court. I participated in the quarter-finals of the French Open twice. I win matches, but never a title.

“This result gives me confidence, especially because the game is different on clay. That’s why I tried a different approach today. I tried to put more spin in my balls, and force him to move back into the field,” he continued.

The 15e top seed of the tournament will face in the quarter-finals the double champion of the Monte-Carlo Masters, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated the German Alexander Zverev 7-5, 7-6 (3).

The tournament’s second seed, Italian Jannik Sinner, also qualified for the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over German Jan-Lennard Struff.

Sinner, the reigning Australian Open champion, will face Dane Holger Rune in the next round, who barely defeated Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (9), 3-6 and 7-6 (2) at the end three hours and 30 minutes of gameplay.

It was Rune’s second match today, after completing the first against Sumit Nagal, which was postponed due to rain.

At the end of the program, the Norwegian Casper Ruud (no 8) easily beat the Pole Hubert Hurkacz (no 10) 6-4, 6-2, while Frenchman Ugo Humbert (no 14) showed the exit door to the Italian Lorenzo Sonego in three sets of 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

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