Novak Djokovic defeats Borna Coric at Monte Carlo Masters
Djokovic sets up Monte Carlo Masters third-round clash with Dominic Thiem on Thursday
By Sky Sports Tennis
Last Updated: 18/04/18 6:46pm
Novak Djokovic secured his progress to the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters with a hard-fought straight-sets win against Borna Coric on Wednesday.
The 12-time Grand Slam winner, who ended a three-match losing streak with victory over Dusan Lajovic in his opening match earlier this week, came through against the talented 21-year-old Coric thanks to a a 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 victory.
Both men exchanged blows in the first set, but it was Djokovic who jumped to a 5-1 lead in the tie-break. Coric subsequently launched a backhand too long, gifting the set to the two-time Monte Carlo winner.
The Croatian, currently ranked 39th in the world, refused to allow Djokovic, playing in only his fourth tournament since last summer's Wimbledon championships, a stranglehold on the match.
The No 9 seed required 10 match points to get his victory over the line to set up a tantalising clash with fifth seed Dominic Thiem for a place in the quarter-finals, with world No 1 Rafael Nadal then to be the likely opponent.
"It was a real battle. I mean, I could have won the match earlier definitely, but it was great to deal with these kind of emotions again," said Djokovic. "It's disrespectful towards Dominic and Dominic's tennis. To think about and talk about potentially a match-up with Nadal.
"Last year in Roland Garros he beat me in straight sets. He's definitely a top-three player in the world on clay."
There were also round of 32 victories for Japan's Kei Nishikori after he clinched a 7-5 6-2 victory against Daniil Medvedev of Russia.
Roberto Bautista-Agut, the number 11 seed, defeated his Spanish compatriot Feliciano Lopez, but Italian Fabio Fognini, seeded 13th, was on the wrong end of a 6-4 6-2 defeat to Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff.
Home favourite Richard Gasquet ran out a comfortable 6-2 6-1 winner against Argentine Diego Schwartzman, while German Philipp Kohlschreiber, Italian Andreas Seppi, and No 14 seed Milos Raonic also all progressed to the last 16.
Coverage of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters gets under way from 10am on Sky Sports Arena every day this week.
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