Novak Djokovic downs 2023 conqueror Lorenzo Musetti to advance in Monte Carlo

By Sports Desk April 11, 2024

World number one Novak Djokovic stormed past Lorenzo Musetti to reach the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters.

The 36-year-old lost to the Italian in the same competition a year ago but made no mistakes this time around to secure his place in the last eight with a 7-5 6-3 victory.

Djokovic said he does not think he is at his “top level” but is now set to face Alex de Minaur for a semi-final berth.

The Australian assured himself of a clash with Djokovic after a comfortable 6-3 6-4 victory over compatriot Alexei Popyrin.

Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev was beaten 6-3 7-5 by Karen Khachanov to end a rocky week in Monaco a day on from being asked by an umpire not to shout at a line judge.

Khachanov’s reward is a quarter-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Greek having overcome Alexander Zverev 7-5 7-5 (3).

Second seed Jannik Sinner cruised through with a 6-4 6-2 over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

That sets up a quarter-final tie with Holger Rune, who came through both his round of 32 and round of 16 games on Thursday across six sets.

Firstly, he beat qualifier Sumit Nagal 6-3 3-6 6-2 before moving on to a three-and-a-half-hour clash with Grigor Dimitrov which he eventually won 7-6 (9) 3-6 7-6 (2).

Friday’s upcoming schedule was completed as Casper Ruud beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-2 and will meet Ugo Humbert who recovered from a set down to beat Lorenzo Sonego 7-5 6-3 6-1.

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    Andy Murray celebrated his 1,000th match on the ATP Tour with a battling victory over Alexei Popyrin at the Queen's Club Championships on Tuesday.

    The 37-year-old became the fifth active male player to hit quadruple figures for tour-level matches, marking the milestone with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory to snap a four-match losing streak.

    Murray holds the record for Queen's titles with five and will look to go deep in this tournament once more when he meets Australia's Jordan Thompson in the second round.

    The two-time Wimbledon champion acknowledged the struggles of his lengthy career after this first-round triumph, though suggested he did not know about the landmark moment until just before play.

    "I didn't realise, but my mum told me before the match that this was my 1000th match on the tour," Murray said in his on-court interview.

    "A lot of matches and a lot of wear and tear in the body and it is not easy but I managed to push through."

    Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco and Richard Gasquet are the other active men's players to hit the 1,000-match mark.

    That longevity has served well for Murray, who won his first match at the tournament in 2005 and holds a 32-9 record at the ATP 500 grass-court event since.

    "During the match, it is difficult but great reward at the end for the hard work and effort I put into the match," Murray added.

    "I have not got too many wins this year, it has been a difficult season but did well to come through in the end. Held quite a few tight service games and managed to serve it out well."

    Alex de Minaur overcame Murray at Queen's last year en route to the final before losing out to Carlos Alcaraz, who also secured the Wimbledon title after.

    Yet De Minaur will not have the chance to make the showpiece of the Wimbledon warm-up this time around, after losing out to Lorenzo Musetti.

    The Italian swept the second seed aside with a 1-6 6-4 6-2 victory, teeing up a second-round meeting with Brandon Nakashima.

  • Osaka beaten by inspired Zheng serving display at Berlin Open Osaka beaten by inspired Zheng serving display at Berlin Open

    Naomi Osaka bowed out of the Berlin Open after falling short in a three-set thriller against an inspired serving display from Zheng Qinwen.

    The former world number one battled, but ultimately came up short for the second time in two weeks, enduring a 6-4 3-6 6-3 defeat. 

    The Japanese found herself a set down following a break point claimed in the fifth game by her opponent but rallied in the second to take the encounter to a deciding set. 

    However, Zheng, who served 10 aces in the final set, proved too powerful for Osaka to secure a second victory over the Japanese after two hours and 10 minutes at the Steffi Graf Stadium.

    Zheng will play Katerina Siniakova in the last 16 on Wednesday, with either Jessica Pegula or Donna Vekic awaiting should she progress. 

    Data Debrief: Acing it

    The victory for Zheng saw her serve 23 aces against Osaka, the highest tally in a single WTA match since Rebecca Marino vs Caroline Garcia in Guadalajara in 2022 (24).

    Her success with her serving saw Zheng win 88 per cent of her first serve points, winning 44 of 50 during the match. 

  • Osaka beaten by inspired Qinwen serving display at Berlin Open Osaka beaten by inspired Qinwen serving display at Berlin Open

    Naomi Osaka bowed out of the Berlin Open after falling short in a three-set thriller against an inspired serving display from Zheng Qinwen.

    The former world number one battled, but ultimately came up short for the second time in two weeks, enduring a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat. 

    The Japanese found herself a set down following a break point claimed in the fifth game by her opponent but rallied in the second to take the encounter to a deciding set. 

    However, Qinwen, who served 10 aces in the final set, proved too powerful for Osaka to secure a second victory over Osaka after two hours and 10 minutes at the Steffi Graf Stadium.

    Qinwen will play Katerina Siniakova in the last 16 of June 19, with either Jessica Pegula or Donna Vekic awaiting should she progress. 

    Data Debrief:

    The victory for Zheng saw her serve 23 aces against Osaka, the highest tally in a single WTA match since Rebecca Marino vs Caroline Garcia in Guadalajara in 2022 (24).

    Her success with her serving saw Zheng win 88 per cent of her first serve points, winning 44 of 50 during the match. 

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