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Djokovic moves past Safiullin to enter third round in Monte Carlo

IANS | April 10, 2024 11:11 AM

MONTE CARLO: World no. 1 Novak Djokovic moved past Roman Safiullin 6-1, 6-2 at the Monte-Carlo Masters to reach the third round in the Principality for the 14th time.

The top seed Serbian arrives in Monte-Carlo having not won a title this season, with his best result a semifinal run at the Australian Open. Having failed to advance beyond the quarter-finals in his seven previous appearances in the Principality, Djokovic will hope this is the week he can return to top form and change that record.

Competing in his first match as the oldest World No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings, 36-year-old Serb produced a ruthless performance against Safiullin. He forced Safiullin into errors with his depth of shots to advance after one-hour and 10-minutes, ATP reports.

In the heavy conditions after the morning rain, Djokovic quickly adjusted. He raced through the first four games to lead 4-0, sealing the opening set in 33 minutes. He continued to look in control in the second set, ending the match with a 16-9 winner to unforced error count.

The 98-time tour-level titlist is a two-time Monte-Carlo champion, triumphing in 2013 and 2015. He will meet Lorenzo Musetti in the third round after the Italian defeated Arthur Fils 6-3, 7-5. Musetti, 22, upset Djokovic in Monte-Carlo at the same stage last season.

In other action, Djokovic’s countryman Miomir Kecmanovic ended Matteo Berrettini’s winning run. Kecmanovic dispatched the Marrakech champion Berrettini 6-3, 6-1 in 75 minutes to set a third-round clash against Grigor Dimitrov.

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