Resident Weekly

A Exclusive Current Affairs Platform


Djokovic Exacts Revenge To Go to the Monte-Carlo QFs, Musetti Lost

Despite not playing at his peak on Thursday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Novak Djokovic managed to win the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court title and exact revenge on Lorenzo Musetti.

The Italian shocked the Serbian in the Principality twelve months ago in the third round, and history looked destined to repeat itself this year when Musetti took the opening set on a break.

Though it is not an easy task to defeat Djokovic twice, the World No. 1 did not give up, managing to find enough consistency at key points to move on to the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-3 victory.

“It was a little exchange with the crowd at 4-3, 40/0 for him in the first set and ever since then I gained momentum,” Djokovic responded when questioned about how he managed to turn the tide in the first set. “He lost focus a little bit. He was the better player for those first seven games, played some great tennis. Played really good shots and made me run.”

“But this is clay and obviously things can turn around very quickly and a break of serve is not as a big advantage on this surface compared to the other surfaces. We saw a little bit of a rollercoaster in the second set, so I am pleased that staying tough and aggressive in the tight moments paid off.”

This is the 36-year-old’s first competition since parting ways with longtime coach Goran Ivanisevic. The top seed, who has Nenad Zimonjic in his box this week, looked unhappy at points during the opening set against Musetti, whose court skill gave the Serbian some trouble.

But after an hour and fifty-nine minutes, the Serbian reached the last eight games with a key break in the first set’s twelfth game. In the second set, he played with more aggression and abandon.

“I don’t think I am still at my top level but it was a great test today against a great player, a very talented player,” Djokovic stated. “I lost to him last year here, similar circumstances. I was a set and 4-2 up and I must say it was in the back of my mind when I was serving at 4-2, 40/15 and lost my serve today. I thought, ‘Oh no, hopefully this is not similar scenario like last year’. I am really glad to overcome the challenge and look forward to the next one.”

In their Lexus ATP Head2Head series, Djokovic now leads the 22-year-old 4-1. He will next face Alex de Minaur, who defeated fellow Australian Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-4 to make it to the Monte-Carlo quarterfinals for the first time since Mark Philippoussis in 1999.

Djokovic has won two titles in the Principality, one in 2013 and the other in 2015. Nine years after winning the title the last time, he has not progressed past the quarterfinals. On Friday, he will take on De Minaur in an attempt to break that record.

The 98-time tour-level winner, whose finest performance this year was a run to the Australian Open semifinals, is still yet to win a trophy.

error: Content is protected !!