Following his rapid-fire start to his title defence in Monte Carlo, Novak Djokovic is through to the third round in his residence of Monaco, where he will meet world No. 62 Pablo Carreno Busta for the first time on the professional tour.
The defending champ began his 2014 campaign for a second consecutive title win in Monte Carlo with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Albert Montanes. The Serbian star put on a dominant performance, as he lost just 10 points on serve and broke the Spaniard five times extend his winning streak to 11 straight wins. The Serb went undefeated in March, winning back-to-back titles at Indian Wells and Miami, which marked the second time in his career that he achieved that double.
“For the first match on clay, it was great,” said Djokovic. “I lost only one game, so there were not too many flaws in my game that I could recall. On the other side, I’ve had an opponent who is a specialist on this surface, but he hasn’t played even close to his highest level. He was making a lot of unforced errors. I was just trying to use the court well, not allow him to get into a rhythm. I was changing the angles. I was coming to the net, being aggressive. Just very good first match.”
While it may not be something to worry about, Djokovic also revealed an “annoying pain” in his left wrist, which had been bothering him since last week. This pain began before the match, although Djokovic believes the easy match-up ensured that he did not strain it.
Later on in the afternoon, world No. 62 Pablo Carreno Busta picked up one of the upsets of the day when he defeated world No. 22 Gael Monfils in straight sets to reach the third round in Monte Carlo. The Spanish lucky loser struck 2 aces and won 67% of his first service points. The main difference in the match was the consistency on service games, as Busta managed to save 7/9 break points against him, while Monfils only managed to save 3/7 throughout the match. Carreno Busta was granted a spot in the main draw after Richard Gasquet withdrew and made the most of his chance when he beat Ivan Dodig in the first round will now compete for a spot in the quarter-final round.
This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. There is a gap of 60 places in the ATP rankings between them, which will set Djokovic as an overwhelming favourite for this match. As long as his wrist does not bother him, this should be another straight sets contest.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets