Novak Djokovic 'takes revenge' on the Italians: the data goes against the trend

The Serbian champion tries to reverse a negative trend that has lasted since Monte Carlo 2023Novak

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Novak Djokovic 'takes revenge' on the Italians: the data goes against the trend
© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic took revenge on Lorenzo Musetti, beating the Italian in the 4th round of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters exactly one year after the defeat suffered by the same opponent, on the same court, in the same tournament and in the same round!

Furthermore, Nole broke a curse against the Italians. The Serbian was in fact coming off a very negative deficit in the latest matches against the Italian tennis players. The Serbian champion broke a taboo that saw him defeated 5 times in the last 9 matches.

The first defeat came against Musetti in the Principality of Monaco, exactly one year ago. Then came three heavy defeats against Jannik Sinner, and the last, very heavy one, in Indian Wells, by Luca Nardi. The 24-time slam champion could still face an Italian from now until Sunday's final at the Monte Carlo Country Club: Jannik Sinner.

The young Italian who yesterday beat the German Jan Leonard Struff in two comfortable sets, while in these minutes he is playing the quarter-finals against Holger Rune. The final that everyone hopes for, especially after Carlos Alcaraz's skip, is precisely the one with the 22 year old Sinner, drawn as number 2 in the seeding on the other side of the draw.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

A tempting opportunity to reverse a trend once again, which has not seen him particularly inspired in recent occasions.

"Musetti was the best player on the court in the first seven games and played excellent tennis. He played great shots and made me run a lot.
But that means playing on clay: things can change very quickly and a break is not a big advantage compared to other surfaces,"
Nole said at the press conference.

"It was like a roller coaster in the second set, but I'm happy to have played aggressively in difficult moments. A tactic that paid off," he added. Nole will face the Australian Alex De Minaur in the quarter-finals.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Musetti' words

For Musetti, however, the second consecutive victory against Djokovic in the round of 16 of the ATP Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo did not arrive, but the path experienced in the Principality this year could represent a small turning point for a tennis player who needs to find the right sensations to continue its growth path.

In Monte Carlo, Musetti achieved two important successes against Taylor Fritz and Arthur Fils before surrendering to a good version of Djokovic, capable of completing the comeback in the opening set and closing the second despite some uncertainty.

The next seasonal commitment will take Musetti to Barcelona, where one of the most interesting and competitive ATP 500 tournaments of 2024 will be played thanks to a fantastic entry list.

"Before the match I said that in any case it would be a lesson. Obviously I would have liked to win, but I take away a lot of positive things from this tournament in general. Especially for the way I reacted in moments of difficulty and the ability to stick to every single point. This is a fundamental objective that I will try to carry forward in the next events on clay," said Musetti at the press conference.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

About Barcelona, the two big unknowns concern the home idols Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal. Carlitos has withdrawn from the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters due to a problem with his right arm and will have to carry out all the necessary analyzes to understand the extent of the injury.

Rafa, however, has already reached Barcelona to test his physical conditions which did not allow him to compete either in Indian Wells or Monte-Carlo.

Novak Djokovic Monte Carlo
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