Novak Djokovic made a strong start in his bid to dethrone Rafael Nadal at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, defeating Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-4 in his opening second-round match on Wednesday.
For a place in the quarter-finals, Djokovic will face No. 16 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, who overcame Australia’s Bernard Tomic 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
Looking ahead to the clash with Djokovic, Dolgopolov said, “I know I can compete with him. Then you just go in the match, try to show your best tennis. He’s been dominating for the second year now. For sure you need to do your best. I mean, he’s No. 1, I’m No. 21. Obviously he’s higher in the rankings. He’s playing more consistent. But I think I have my chances and I’ll try my best.”
Novak said: “I haven’t played a match on a clay court since Roland Garros last year, so I’m happy with how I played. (…) expect the unexpected with Dolgopolov.”
“He’s a very talented player, comes up with some shots that are not really typical for a tennis player,”. “He comes up with some drop shots, changes the pace very much. That’s why he’s very dangerous on clay.”
Dolgopolov said: “After that, I think I can compete with him,”. “I mean, he’s No. 1, I’m No. 21. Obviously, he’s higher in the ranking. He’s playing more consistent. But I think I have my chances.”