Djoker quells Demon to reach Monte Carlo semis

WORLD number one Novak Djokovic proved that bit too strong for Australian Alex de Minaur, getting home in a tight two-set match at the Monte Carlo Masters. While just a couple of breaks throughout the course of the match separated the players, Djokovic was able to move to within two victories of a third clean sweep of all nine ATP Masters 1000 titles.

The second set was hectic for both players as they traded blows, with the Serbian champion breaking the Australian to go up 4-2, only for de Minaur to respond straight back. It was the tale of the second set with a massive seven break of serve. In the ninth game at 5-4 up Djokovic seized his moment with that seventh break, to take the match in a nail-biting 7-5 6-4 fashion, showing his class in crucial points.

In a match that lasted two hours and four minutes, Djokovic was able to edge ahead in the pair’s head-to-head having lost to de Minaur earlier this year at the United Cup. The world number one said her knew it would be a tough slog considering the Australian’s court coverage.

“It was tough for both of us. He is one of the quickest players on Tour. He gets a lot of balls back that normally 99 per cent of other players don’t. He did not surprise me with several passing shots. Particularly in the second set when I was up a break,” Djokovic said post-match.

“But he said at the net it was ugly. The second set I think it was. We didn’t play at the high level and made a lot of unforced errors, him and I, and a lot of breaks of serve. It is kind of expected on clay but maybe not this many. But a win is a win and I am happy to be through.”

Despite not looking 100 per cent and even a little bit gassed at times trying to keep up with the world number 10, Djokovic did as he has his whole career and just found a way to win. He moved into the semi-finals of the event where he is a past two-time winner and Monte Carlo remains the sole Masters 1000 that he is yet to win thrice.

“I am very happy to be back in the semis. It has been a while,” Djokovic said. “I love this tournament. I love this club as well, I have been training at this club for many years. The past seven, eight years has been tough for me to win seven or eight matches consecutively, but here we are, another semis.”

Djokovic will take on clay court specialist Casper Ruud in the final four after the Norwegian defeated French 14th seed Ugo Humbert in two hours and five minutes, 6-3 4-6 6-1. Meanwhile in the other quarter finals, Jannik Sinner continued his ridiculous 2024 ATP Tour season with a three-set battle against a frustrated Holger Rune 6-4 6-7 6-3, and will now take on Stefanos Tsitsipas who had the easiest win of the quartet, defeating Karen Khachanov in straight sets, 6-4 6-2.


[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) defeated [11] Alex de Minaur (AUS) 7-5 6-4
[3] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated [7] Holger Rune (DEN) 6-4 6-7 6-3
[8] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated [14] Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-3 4-6 6-1
[12] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated [15] Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-4 6-2

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