World no.1 Novak Djokovic had an extremely difficult day at the office today. He battled past rain and emotions to win his third round match at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters as he beat the Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 2-6 6-1 6-4.
Djokovic, who decided to play after his grandfather passed away, was visibly weak and shaken. Dolgopolov was the first to break in the third game of the first set to take a 2-1 lead. The Serbian had a break back opportunity at 2-3, but couldn’t capitalise. It was Dolgopolov who took his opponent’s serve once more and served out for a 6-2 first set win.
Djokovic struck in set 2 as he managed to take a quick 3-0 lead. Dolgopolov dropped his serve for a second time in the set to go 1-5 down and the Serbian levelled the match at 1-1.
In the deciding set, it was Djokovic who had two break point chances in the third game, but couldn’t convert any of them and the set went with serve until the 9th game. The world no.1 regained his focus and this time didn’t hesitate, he took Dolgopolov’s serve to go 5-4 up and consolidated the break to seal the match.
Next up for Djokovic will be the winner of the match between Robin Haase and Thomaz Bellucci.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also won his match against the Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (7) 6-2 and booked his place in the last 8.
Tsonga saved two set points in the first set to clinch the tiebreak to go a set up. This seemed to have done the job as he cruised through the second set and set up a quarterfinal clash against Gilles Simon of France, who dismissed Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 6-0 4-6 6-1.