Monte Carlo Masters: Novak Djokovic battles into last eight; Juan Martin del Potro crashes out
Last Updated: 18/04/13 6:06pm
Novak Djokovic: Serb digs out a forehand during third-round win in Monte Carlo
World number one Novak Djokovic needed just over two hours to reach the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters with a 4-6 6-2 6-2 victory over Juan Monaco.
Djokovic, who made a late decision to play this week after rolling his ankle on Davis Cup duty with Serbia, made a slow start as 14th seed Monaco broke twice on the way to taking the opening set.
But, just as he had during his second-round win over Mikhail Youzhny the previous day, Djokovic responded well, dominating the second set behind a first-serve percentage of 80.
And the decider followed a similar pattern; Djokovic broke three more times to close out the result and book a last-eight meeting with unseeded Finn Jarkko Nieminen.
"It was another great fight, I'm trying to take it day by day," said Djokovic, who mixed 25 winners with 45 unforced errors.
"I didn't know what to expect on court as I didn't feel so fresh this morning.
"But I managed to come back, it was a good win for me on clay against a good player. I tried to keep the points as short as possible and I served well when I needed to.
"I'm feeling better on my ankle. This was a great struggle and I'm glad to win it."
Nieminen sent fifth seed Juan Martín Del Potro packing 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7/4) in Thursday's final match.