World no. 2 Novak Djokovic is safely through to his 92nd Masters 1000 quarter-final in Cincinnati. Novak took down his old rival Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2 in 68 minutes in the third round to remain on the title course. Novak and Gael met for the 19th time on the ATP Tour, and the Serb delivered his 19th victory, becoming the owner of the most one-sided rivalry in the Open era!
Djokovic had only seven winners and 14 unforced errors, with Monfils adding 15 direct points and almost 40 mistakes! They had a similar number of service winners, staying behind and embracing baseline rallies after not going to the net that often.
Novak forged the advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, leading 6-3, 5-0 and sealing the deal soon after. They both served well after landing in the first serve, and Djokovic won the duel in the second serve department.
The Serb dropped 12 points behind the initial shot and lost serve once from as many chances offered to his opponent.
Novak Djokovic is through to the last eight in Cincinnati.
World no. 2 turned half of the return points into four breaks from five opportunities, enough to sail over the top.
Djokovic settled into a fine rhythm in the opening set, serving well and keeping the pressure on the other side. Novak kicked off the action with a service winner and a hold at love. Gael squandered two game points in the second game and offered Novak a break chance.
The Frenchman denied it with a forehand down the line winner and held to avoid an early setback. They stay neck and neck in the upcoming games, and Novak opens a 4-3 advantage with another fine hold. Monfils lost the ground in the eighth game and netted a routine forehand to offer Novak three break chances.
The Frenchman sprayed another forehand error to experience a break at love and push the Serb 5-3 ahead. Djokovic fired a service winner in the ninth game to wrap up the set 6-3 in 32 minutes, rattling off 12 of the final 15 points.
Monfils squandered his chances at the start of the second set and suffered another break to fall a set and a break behind. Djokovic held after deuce in game two and earned his third straight break at 2-0 after Monfils' wild forehand.
Novak held at love for 4-0 and extended his dominance with a backhand down the line winner in the next one. Djokovic served at 5-0 for a bagel but lost serve after Monfils' running forehand down the line winner. The Frenchman reduced the deficit to 5-2 with a fine hold before the Serb emerged at the top with a forehand down the line winner in game nine.
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