Home News De Minaur and Djokovic set for Intriguing Rematch in Monte Carlo

De Minaur and Djokovic set for Intriguing Rematch in Monte Carlo

by GP
Novak Djokovic

Today in round sixteen of the 2024 Monte Carlo Masters number 1 ranked Novak Djokovic toppled number twenty-four ranked Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets to move through to the quarter finals.

Djokovic yet to reach peak form

The Thirty-six year old Serbian suffered a surprise exit at the hands of Musetti at this stage last year and for a while a repeat looked on the cards. Djokovic had to fight back from 2-4 down in the opening set before going on to defeat Musetti 7-5, 6-3.

Twenty-two year old Italian Lorenzo Musetti has won two ITF World Tennis Tour titles. He made his ATP Tour debut in February 2020 at the age of seventeen at the Dubai Tennis Championships. Musetti was the youngest player to break into the top 100 for the first time by ascending to the ATP Tour Mexican Open Semi-finals at the age of nineteen.

The score may look comfortable but there were definite signs that Djokovic is short of his peak, twice dropping his service after going a break up in the second set. The Serbian was full of praise for his opponent after the match but conceded that he is not yet at his top level. The Monte Carlo Masters is played on a clay court and Djokovic was quoted as saying, “Pleasure in suffering, that’s what clay gives you”.

He has ranked number one for an impressive total of 420 weeks in a record thirteen different years and finished as the year end number one a record eight times. Djokovic has won a remarkable twenty-four Grand Slam men’s singles titles, including a record ten Australian Open titles. He has also finished runner-up in twelve grand slam finals.

De Minaur seeking another famous victory

De Minaur beat fellow Aussie Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-4 to set up an intriguing clash with Djokovic. De Minaur could only take five games off Djokovic in a crushing straight defeats in last year’s Australian Open in Melbourne. However, he was a different proposition when representing his country in the United Cup in January, winning 6-4, 6-4.

The victory was all the more notable because it ended a 43-match winning run for Djokovic in Australia dating back to 2018. De Minaur was quick to acknowledge that it was the biggest victory of his career and all the more special for achieving it in front of his home fans. It is not the first time he has raised his game when representing Australia. In December 2022 he had beaten none other than Rafael Nadal in the same event. He is currently at a career-high nine in the world rankings with eight tour singles titles under his belt.

De Minaur is in a relationship with British number one Katie Boulter who is due to lead Great Britain in their Billie Jean King Cup tie with France which also begins on Friday. Both De Minaur and Boulter will start their matches as underdogs but will relish the challenge.

Current numbers at most sportsbooks offering tennis odds is Djokovic at 1.25 | -400 | 1/4 and De Minaur at around 4.00 | +300 | 3/1.

Written by Bonnie Kilgore

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