ATP Monte Carlo: Novak Djokovic tops Lorenzo Musetti, serves revenge

Novak Djokovic will play in his 94th Mastaers 1000 quarter-final

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Monte Carlo: Novak Djokovic tops Lorenzo Musetti, serves revenge
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic will compete in his 94th Masters 1000 quarter-final following a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Lorenzo Musetti in the Monte Carlo third round. Thus, Djokovic avenged the loss he suffered to Musetti in the Principality a year ago, overcoming a challenging opener and sealing the deal in straight sets under a boiling sun to reach the last eight.

Novak prevailed after an hour and 58 minutes, losing serve three times and seizing five out of six break chances to avoid a decider. They battled for over an hour in the opener, and Novak came from 4-2 down. Musetti served at 54% and lost serve two times from as many chances offered to Djokovic.

Novak lost serve once from three chances offered to his rival, prevailing and gaining a boost.

unknown© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 1 netted a routine forehand in the opening game of the match, suffering an early break and sending his rival in front.

Lorenzo cemented the break with a service winner in game two before Novak reduced the deficit with a hold at love in the next one. The young Italian cracked a backhand down the line winner in the fourth game and closed it with a perfect drop shot winner for a 3-1 lead.

Struggling to find the range from his backhand, Djokovic faced another break point in the fifth game after a basic error. The Serb denied it and held, remaining within one break deficit. The young gun painted a forehand crosscourt winner in the sixth game, producing a hold at love and opening a 4-2 advantage after 31 minutes.

Novak Djokovic defeated Lorenzo Musetti in Monte Carlo.

Novak grabbed the seventh game with a backhand attack and made a push on the return in the next one after an interaction with the crowd. Lorenzo landed a backhand down the line winner for three game points, squandering them and keeping Novak in contention.

The Italian wasted the fourth game point and lost serve after a backhand error, bringing the Serb back to 4-4. World no. 1 closed the ninth game after deuce with a service winner, moving in front and keeping the pressure on the other side.

Musetti held at 30 in the tenth game, leveling the score at 5-5 and prolonging the battle. Djokovic clinched the 11th game at love and made another push on the return in the next one.

Novak Djokovic, Monte Carlo 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak created a set point after Lorenzo's forehand error and converted it after Lorenzo's costly double fault for 7-5 after 66 minutes.

Djokovic opened the second set with a service winner and extended his good pace on the return. Novak painted a backhand crosscourt winner to secure a break and open a 2-0 advantage. Lorenzo pulled the break back in game three after Novak's terrible forehand and missed a game point in the next one.

Djokovic prolonged the game and clinched a break, opening a 3-1 advantage and moving closer to the finish line. Novak held in game five for 4-1 and moved 40-15 in front on serve in game seven. Suddenly, Musetti stepped in and pulled the break back, reducing the deficit to 4-3.

Djokovic left that game behind and notched his fifth return game in the next one, moving 5-3 in front. Novak served for the win in game nine and held at love, sealing the deal and moving into the quarter-final.

Atp Monte Carlo Novak Djokovic Lorenzo Musetti