Dominic Thiem Beats Novak Djokovic at Monte Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal talks about his love affair with the Monte Carlo Masters     
  
 
      
         
              Rafael Nadal talks about his love affair with the Monte Carlo

Novak Djokovic needed 10 match points to claim a hard-fought straight-sets victory over the unsafe Borna Coric on Wednesday, setting up a Monte Carlo Masters third-round tennis clash with Dominic Thiem.

Despite a third-round exit yesterday at the hands of Dominic Thiem, the world No 7 from Austria who is a formidable clay-courter, Djokovic departed the Monte Carlo Country Club last night for the short journey to his nearby home with a smile on his face.

The momentum swung firmly in the direction of the 12-time Grand Slam champion after Thiem failed to serve out the set, and Djokovic proceeded to win the tiebreak 7-2. There were no such issues on Thursday, however, as Nadal was in full control against the 21-year-old Khachanov.

Thiem showed his class in the win over Djokovic and was one of the few players on tour who really pushed Nadal on clay past year, grabbing a win in Rome.

Thiem demonstrated past year in Rome that he is one of the very few players able to hit through Nadal on a clay court. He has a 5-1 head-to-head advantage over the fifth seed but the Austrian won their most recent meeting on clay - French Open 2017 quarter-final in straight sets.

Rafael Nadal made a flying start to his bid for an 11th Monte Carlo Masters title, breezing to a 6-1 6-3 second-round victory over Aljaz Bedene.

"Under the circumstances and considering I haven't played too many official matches, I thought I played well". "Being in that position already and having achieved so much just gives me enough reason to believe I can make it again". "I think (it's an) wonderful decision by him to take Marian Vajda back because it's the coach he won everything with nearly". That earned his reward in the seventh game, a break, and then he pummelled a flagging Djokovic as the clock headed to nearly two and a half hours, sealing the win with a final break, 6-3.

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Also on Thursday, Frenchman Richard Gasquet claimed his 500th career victory in defeating German Mischa Zverev 6-2, 7-5. Nadal Nadal has won nine straight matches on clay court.

The Australian Open runner-up next plays Japan's Kei Nishikori, who defeated Italy's Andreas Seppi 6-0, 2-6, 6-3.

Meanwhile, world No. 4 Zverev needed two hours and three minutes to overcome his compatriot Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

"It was hard yesterday, early in the match, I rotated on my knee in an uncomfortable position and felt pain", Raonic said.

"I just tried to stay calm and not do anything too insane and stay calm at the baseline".

Up next, Cilic is scheduled to play in the round of 16 against Canada's Milos Raonic, who earned a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Marco Cecchinato of Italy.

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