Djokovic battles past Coric to reach 3rd round

Monte Carlo – Novak Djokovic needed 10 match points to claim a hard fought straight-sets victory over the dangerous Borna Coric on Wednesday, setting up a Monte Carlo Masters third-round clash with Dominic Thiem.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion, playing only his fourth tournament since Wimbledon last July after struggling with a right elbow injury, overcame some late nerves to win 7-6 (7/2), 7-5.

Djokovic is working with long-time former coach Marian Vajda for the first time in almost a year after splitting from Andre Agassi, and the 30-year-old has looked rejuvenated in Monaco after early exits in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Serbian will next face Austrian fifth seed Thiem with a possible quarter-final against defending champion Rafael Nadal, who plays Aljaz Bedene later on Wednesday, up for grabs.

Results from the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):

2nd rd

Novak Djokovic (SRB x9) bt Borna Coric (CRO) 7-6 (7/2), 7-5

Karen Khachanov (RUS) bt Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-2, 6-2

Kei Nishikori (JPN) bt Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x11) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x13) 6-4, 6-2

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) bt Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP x15) 6-4, 6-2

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