'Novak Djokovic's athleticism makes him...', says ATP player

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'Novak Djokovic's athleticism makes him...', says ATP player

Grigor Dimitrov maintained his strong record at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Thursday, defeating fourth seed Casper Ruud 6-3, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals for the fourth time. The Bulgarian struck with controlled aggressiveness all over the Rainier III court, dipping deep behind the baseline at times to make big cuts on the ball as he dictated his groundstrokes to advance after one hour and 31 minutes.

"He was really looking forward to the match," Dimitrov said in his on-pitch interview. “I knew that if he did the right thing, good things would come of it. Casper is a great player on any surface. He has shown that over and over again at such a young age, which is nice to see.

I liked that matchup and wanted to see where he was physically and mentally. I just played and enjoyed the game." The World No. 29 has played some of his best tennis at the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event in the past, reaching the quarter-finals in 2013 and 2015 and the semi-finals in 2018.

Dimitrov, who is making his ninth appearance in Monte Carlo, he also scored wins against 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka, the former World No.7 Fernando Verdasco and World No. 6 Matteo Berrettini in the tournament over the years.

"It's always tough this week because you're changing surfaces," Dimitrov added. During the conversation with ATP, Casper Ruud highlighted how Novak Djokovic's athleticism makes him impenetrable.

Nole has some splendid records

Casper Ruud recently explained the nuances of Novak Djokovic's tennis, pointing out how the Serb is extremely well-rounded and has a complete game.

"He (the Serb) plays a little bit differently from Rafa," Casper Ruud said. "He plays a little bit further in to the court and the thing with Novak is that his backhand is so pure and so good, that even though many clay-court players like Rafa like to push the backhand of their opponent because it’s tough with the high bounce, with the heaviness, Novak stands against it better than anybody else because he has such good control with his backhand.

Obviously he’s one of the best movers on Tour," Casper Ruud said. "He can get to certain balls and play defence like no other player, so I think that’s what makes him as tough as he is both on hard court and clay.

But on clay, he is able to step into the court and take those heavy shots that you try to play at him a little bit more on the rise and play it with good depth back to you.