Novak Djokovic’s return to the clay-court season was a rusty one as he struggled to find his rhythm against qualifier Ivan Gakhov. Despite winning the first set in a tiebreaker, the two-time Monte Carlo champion seemed to lack his usual consistency, taking time to adjust to the slow surface. However, he managed to find his groove in the second set, playing more aggressively and breaking Gakhov’s serve to clinch the victory.
Although Djokovic admitted that he did not play his best, he was pleased with the way he held his nerves in important moments, saving three of the four break points he faced. His victory at Monte Carlo marks his first win in five weeks since losing to Daniil Medvedev in the Dubai Championships. The Australian Open champion’s 20-match winning streak came to an end with that defeat.
Looking ahead, Djokovic’s next opponent will be either Lorenzo Musetti or Luca Nardi. With his sights set on securing his third Monte Carlo title, the 35-year-old will be eager to improve his performance in the upcoming rounds.
Djokovic‘s opening match at the Monte Carlo Masters was not without its challenges, as he struggled to adapt to the clay-court surface. However, the Serbian star managed to dig deep and secure a 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory against Ivan Gakhov. The win marks his first victory in five weeks, having suffered a semi-final defeat at the Dubai Championships to Daniil Medvedev.
Despite a slow start, Djokovic’s aggressive play in the second set allowed him to break Gakhov’s serve and take control of the match. He admitted that he did not play his best tennis in the first set but was pleased with his ability to hold his nerve in crucial moments. With his next opponent set to be either Lorenzo Musetti or Luca Nardi, Djokovic will be looking to improve his performance as he aims to secure his third Monte Carlo title.