Djokovic defeats Monaco in Monte Carlo, Nieminen upsets Del Potro

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Novak Djokovic turns around his third round match to set up a Monte Carlo 2013 quarterfinal clash against Jarkko Nieminen.

Just like in the previous round, top seed Djokovic went a set down, yet he bounced back to reach Monte Carlo quarterfinals. His third round opponent Juan Monaco got off to a better start and moved 3-1 ahead after consolidating an early break. While Nole clawed back to make 4-4, he was surprised by the fourteenth-seed Argentine once again – the latter served out the set in the following game. In the second set the players shared two breaks between them by 3-2 for Djokovic who took over the reins after that and made it one set each by winning all of the remaining games. The World no. 1 was always at least one step ahead of his challenger in the decider and crossed the finish line first after two hours and four minutes spent on the clay court in Monte Carlo. This was Djokovic’s seventh straight win over Monaco who is yet to upset the current number on. The Serb advanced to the last eight with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

49th-ranked Finnish player Jarkko Nieminen has proved to be too tough a nut to crack in the third round encounter with seed number five Juan Martin Del Potro. The unseeded Finn got off to a flying start and moved 3-0 ahead in the opening set, but Delpo broke back just in time to prevent his rival taking the set. However, the Argentine could not hold the follow-up game and Nieminen moved one nil up in the end. An early break second set break was enough for Del Potro to level the score, fending off three re-break balls in the process – the stage for the third set drama was thus set.

The fully-packed Monte Carlo stadium could enjoy a decider full of turnarounds as both players had problems holding their serves and were been broken three times in the first ten games. The tall Argentine was serving to secure his quarterfinal ticket at 5-4, yet Nieminen avoided an exit from the tournament and even generated a match ball at 6-5 after his rival’s weak forehand landed in the net. Delpo corrected the mistake with a forehand smash winner and ultimately forced a tie-break. The Finn now jumped to a 3-0 lead, but his opponent recovered and won four rallies in a row. The Argentine’s shots were stronger, yet Nieminen remained patient as well as accurate and soon created a couple of match points. He tucked away the first one after Del Potro’s second consecutive unforced error to celebrate a well deserved 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4) victory. He has defeated Del Potro for the first time in five matches.

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