Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Djokovic beats Kohlschreiber in Monte Carlo

Djokovic beats Kohlschreiber in Monte Carlo
Djokovic beats Kohlschreiber in Monte Carlo

Novak Djokovic beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters at Monaco.

Djokovic saved 12 of 16 break points to win the clay-court match in two hours, 36 minutes.

The Serb, who received a first round bye, clinched the first set with penetrating groundstrokes from the baseline but struggled with his serve in the second and serving at 2-3 down was forced to save two break points.

On the third break point opportunity for Kohlschreiber, Djokovic inexplicably hit a backhand volley wide to put his opponent 4-2 ahead.

A furious Djokovic went on to smash his racket three times on the court and was met with a chorus of boos from the spectators.

Two-times winner Djokovic would go on to drop his serve for the fourth time in the set but regained his composure with an early break in the decider.

He maintained the advantage to avenge his Indian Wells second-round defeat by Kohlschreiber last month.

The Serb put forth a stronger effort while improving to 9-2 all-time against Kohlschreiber.

Last month at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Calif., Kohlschreiber delivered a stunning 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Djokovic for his first win over a Top 10 player in 12 opportunities.

Djokovic again received a strong battle from Kohlschreiber on Court Rainier III but was able to maintain control of the match.

"I had a tough opponent, of course," Djokovic said after his match. "Philipp beat me in Indian Wells. It was a match that happened less than a month ago, so of course it was in the back of my mind a bit.

"I thought I should have maybe stepped in and played a bit more aggressive in the second set, but credit to him for mixing up the pace and playing well. I'll take this win. Hopefully I can play slightly better in the next round, because if I want to go deep in the tournament, I definitely have to up my game."

Djokovic is looking for his third title at Monaco. He previously won in 2013 and 2015.