Zverev could face brother, Mischa, in Monte Carlo Masters quarters

Zverev could face brother, Mischa, in Monte Carlo Masters quarters”

Dominic Thiem rallied from a set down to send Novak Djokovic packing at the Monte Carlo Masters, progressing to the quarter-finals with 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 6-3 win.

Earlier, 12-time grand slam victor Novak Djokovic booked his place in the third round after seeing off Borna Coric in straight sets.

Djokovic, who has displayed glimpses of his best form in Monte Carlo, showed touches of class but wilted in the heat and could not last the distance in the third round on Court Rainier III.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion is bidding for an 11th Monte Carlo title and a record 31st Masters title.

Earlier in the last-32 clash, Djokovic showcased a spirited performance as he had swept aside Borna Coric in straight sets 6-7 (2-7), 5-7 in two hours and 15 minutes. In the pre-quarterfinals, Djokovic will face Dominic Thim of Austria, and If Djokovic wins the final -16 round, he will face World No. 1 player Rafael Nadal of Spain in the quarter-finals.

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"It's way better feeling if you go contrary to him (Nadal) and be aware you've conquered him on the particular surface", the 24-year-old Thiem explained.

Khachanov held his own at times in the opening set, but Nadal moved through the gears and claimed his second comfortable victory of the week after his opening win over Aljaz Bedene.

But he dug deep to break back thanks to two unforced backhand errors from Djokovic.

"It's the ultimate challenge to play against him. I need to play aggressive, with a higher intensity than him, then we'll see". "I mean, I could have won the match earlier definitely, but it was great to deal with these kind of emotions again", said the 12-time Grand Slam champion.

"I think he's on the rise again, for sure", Thiem said.

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Third seed Alexander Zverev needed three sets to beat fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff and he could face his brother in the next round if Mischa overcomes Richard Gasquet.

Nadal has lost twice to Thiem on clay, but produced a dominant display in the French Open semi-finals past year en route to his 10th Roland Garros title.

In other matches, Kei Nishikori of Japan overcame an early break to beat Daniil Medvedev of Russian Federation 7-5, 6-2.

Sixth-seeded David Goffin also made it through after beating Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 7-5 in a match that included a weird incident involving a ball boy.

Goffin, semifinalist previous year, next plays Grigor Dimitrov after the fourth-seeded Bulgarian beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6 6-3 6-4. Cilic, the Australian Open runner-up, will next play Kei Nishikori or Andreas Seppi.

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