Djokovic survives Kohlschreiber scare in Monte Carlo

Pierre-René Worms  RFI

Pierre-René Worms RFI

The victor of the last three Grand Slams made eight double faults, dropped serve four times and smashed a racquet after losing the second set to his German opponent in the second-round encounter.

Djokovic, who won this year's Australian Open, obliterated the frame of his racket after hammering it into the clay three times.

Novak Djokovic flung a racquet into the crowd and smashed another one in a tempestuous 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Monte Carlo Masters. Is that going to happen later this week or not, I don't know.

"It's not easy to come back from injury, I had to do a lot of mental work as well to be prepared". It just didn't feel so comfortable serving today.

However, the popular Frenchman suffered a fitness setback as he was forced to retire in his match with Taylor Fritz when trailing 2-0 in the second set having already lost the first.

The 15-time Grand Slam champion, who will aim to win a fourth straight major when the French Open starts next month, then upped his level.

Kohlschreiber saved a first match point at 30-40 with a sublime drop shot and held.

Later in the match he flung a racquet into the crowd when he was unable to reach a shot.

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World number one Djokovic got the better of the risky Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 4-6 6-4 on Court Rainier III, having seen Cilic dumped out by Guido Pella in the previous match.

The 32-year-old had expressed pre-tournament caution regarding the health of his knee - a worry which appeared to be groundless after a 76-minute masterclass. The four-time Wimbledon champ's latest display of anger was similar to his outburst at Indian Wells last month. "This surface is very demanding physically". He'll now face the victor between Taylor Fritz and Diego Schwartzman.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, who is seeking a record-extending 12th title here, is in second-round action Wednesday against Spanish countryman Roberto Bautista Agut.

Wild-card entry Jaume Munar of Spain also went a set and a break up against No. 9 Borna Coric of Croatia, but was beaten 6-7 (3), 7-6 (7), 6-4.

Argentine Guido Pella dealt a second-round blow to seventh seed Marin Cilic, beating the Croatian 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.

German Alexander Zverev defeated Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets Wednesday in second-round action at the Monte-Carlo Masters men's tennis event. The Russian beat Radu Albot 6-1, 6-2, while Fognini had a walkover after Gilles Simon pulled out with a back injury and next takes on Zverev.

He will play Italian world number 96 Lorenzo Sonego in the next round. The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who reached last month's Miami semi-finals as a qualifier, now boasts a ranking of 33rd - up from 175th when he played here a year ago.

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