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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Novak Djokovic and Holger Rune preserve their Monte Carlo custom

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Prime-10 stars Novak Djokovic and Holger Rune preserve their Monte Carlo custom alive, coaching within the Principality forward of the third Masters 1000 occasion of the season. Three years in the past, the 17-year-old Dane texted the legend, inviting him to coach collectively in Monte Carlo.

Novak stated sure, they usually solid a pleasant friendship. Novak and Holger will chase the primary title of the season subsequent week after not taking part in at their finest within the opening three months of the season. World no. 1 Djokovic is 8-3 in 2024, falling within the Australian Open semi-final and experiencing a stunning Indian Wells loss to Luca Nardi.

Djokovic skipped Miami and entered Monte Carlo, in search of his third title within the Principality, the primary since 2015.

Novak Djokovic, Monte Carlo 2023© Clive Brunskill / Employees – Getty Pictures Sport

The Serb performed his first Monte Carlo match 18 years in the past in opposition to world no.

1 Roger Federer, dropping in three units. Novak misplaced two finals in 2009 and 2012 to Rafael Nadal earlier than ousting the king of clay within the 2013 closing, ending Rafa’s unimaginable streak within the Principality. Djokovic fell to Federer within the 2014 semi-final earlier than lifting one other trophy 12 months later, beating Nadal within the semi-final.

All of the sudden, Novak misplaced the bottom at his house occasion since 2016, profitable eight out of 15 matches and reaching solely two quarter-finals, none since 2019. A yr in the past, Djokovic misplaced to Lorenzo Musetti within the third spherical 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in just below three hours.

Lorenzo got here from 6-4, 4-2 down, producing a notable comeback and rising excessive with a single break within the decider. Novak served at 80% within the opener and nearly dropped it after getting damaged two occasions. The extra skilled participant stole the younger gun’s serve 3 times, opening a 5-2 hole and incomes two set factors on the return in sport eight.

Lorenzo saved them and held to delay the battle. Musetti saved the third set level on the return in sport 9 with a forehand winner and landed one other to drag the break again and scale back the deficit. Djokovic closed the set with one other break at 5-4, touchdown a smash winner and transferring in entrance.

They battled for 70 minutes within the second set and made it memorable! There have been 9 breaks in 12 video games, with the younger Italian breaking the legend 5 occasions en path to 7-5.

Novak Djokovic, Monte Carlo 2023© Clive Brunskill / Employees – Getty Pictures Sport

Novak Djokovic and Holger Rune educated forward of Monte Carlo.

Novak grabbed three straight breaks and landed a backhand winner within the sixth sport for 4-2, transferring nearer to the end line. Lorenzo broke again in sport seven and delivered one other return sport for a 5-4 benefit, serving for the set in sport ten.

Musetti hit a unfastened forehand, dropping serve and maintaining Djokovic within the set. Nevertheless, Novak misplaced serve at love in sport 11, falling 6-5 behind and dropping the set when Lorenzo held at 15 within the subsequent one. They skilled a rain delay, and the Italian grabbed a break at 3-3 after they returned.

Musetti denied a break level within the tenth sport and seized the fourth match level with a service winner for a career-best victory.

Holger Rune, Monte Carlo 2023© Clive Brunskill / Employees – Getty Pictures Sport

Holger Rune has already misplaced seven matches in 2024, falling to Grigor Dimitrov within the Brisbane closing originally of the yr.

The Dane fell within the semi-final in Montpellier and Acapulco and misplaced to Daniil Medvedev within the Indian Wells quarter-final. Holger didn’t really feel effectively in Miami, taking solely two video games and hoping for a greater run in Monte Carlo.

The younger Dane performed within the closing within the Principality a yr in the past, giving his finest however falling to Andrey Rublev 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 after two hours and 34 minutes. Rune had an opportunity to have fun his second Masters 1000 title, taking the opener and main 4-1 within the decider earlier than incomes a break probability.

Andrey denied it, held and grabbed two breaks by the tip of the duel, sealing the deal and changing into a Masters 1000 champion for the primary time. The Russian landed 30 winners and 23 unforced errors, taming his strokes properly and welcoming 50 unforced errors from his opponent.

Rublev confronted eight break factors and misplaced serve 4 occasions. Rune sprayed 9 double faults and performed in opposition to 19 break factors, dropping serve six occasions and settling with the runner-up prize.

Holger Rune, Monte Carlo 2023© Clive Brunskill / Employees – Getty Pictures Sport

Djokovic and Rune met on clay in Rome final yr, a few weeks after practising collectively in Monte Carlo.

The younger Dane produced a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 victory in two hours and 19 minutes after a rain delay, transferring into the semi-final and remaining on the title course. Djokovic didn’t play at his finest, struggling bodily and dropping floor within the decider.

Novak broke Holger two occasions and skilled 5 breaks, struggling to observe the rival’s tempo in units one and three. Two rivals might meet within the quarter-final in Monte Carlo subsequent week in the event that they go the opening two impediment, in search of an excellent outcome after lifting no ATP titles within the opening three months of the season.

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