Alexandr Dolgopolov defeated Borna Coric in a wildly swinging three-setter to advance to the second round at the Monte Carlo Masters. Dolgopolov won 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 in two hours 12 minutes. The Ukrainian won the first set 7-5, only to lose the second by the same score-line.
In the third however, he struck early, breaking the 18-year old’s serve in the first game itself and consolidating the break to go up 2-0 in the set. Dolgopolov however found staring at three break points on his serve in the fourth game, but saved them all before holding his serve to go up 3-1 in the set.
A second break of serve propelled him to a 4-1 lead but on his immediate service game, he yet again faced break points before he was able to consolidate the break. More than Dolgopolov, it was the Croatian who struggled with the erratic rhythm of his game despite keeping the pressure on his opponent.
Coric finally held his serve to put himself up to two games in the set, but it was far too late for him as Dolgopolov comfortably served out the match with an ace. Both players had poor first serve percentages: Dolgopolov put in 45% of his first serves, while Coric put in 47%.
However, the Ukrainian won 86% points of his shaky first serves, while the Croat could only manage to win 66%. Dolgopolov had 45 winners and 48 unforced errors, while Coric had 18 winners and 28 unforced errors. Dolgopolov's approach of coming into the net was also advantageous, as he won 18 out of 21 points coming in at the net.
In contrast, Coric was only able to win 10 out of 20 points at the net. Dolgopolov hit 10 aces and had four double faults, while Coric had three aces and nine double faults for the match. Also Read Novak Djokovic's thoughts on the man to beat on clay