World no.2 Novak Djokovic showed heart of a champion again, when he defeated no.13 seed Pablo Carreno Busta at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Thursday.
The second seed advanced into the ATP world Tour Masters 1000 event quarter-finals following a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory over the Spaniard on Court Rainier III. It was the 30th triumph at the Monte-Carlo Country Club for the 2013 and 2015 titlist.
Novak won six straight games from 2-2 in the opening set to a 2-0 lead in the second. He then lost three service games in a row to let Carreno Busta back into the contest. Djokovic broke back once, but the Spaniard took the set to force a decider. Nole led 4-2, but quickly found himself down 15/40 serving at 4-4. He fended off the two break points and went on to break his rival once again in the last game.
The Serbian star won 76% of his first service points during the two hours, 26-minute clash.
“In both matches here I put myself in a very uncomfortable position. I was leading by a set and a break in the first match, a set and a break today. Everything was working just fine and then I made too many unforced errors. I just completely lost the control with my shots and Pablo started gaining confidence,” Novak said. “The match could have easily gone his way. I take the positives out of today’s performance. Mentally these kind of wins mean a lot to me.”
Match statistics: aces (2-0), double faults (5-0), winners (38-19), unforced errors (39-22), total points won (104-88).
Novak will next play no.10 seed from Belgium, David Goffin (5-0 career H2H mark), who scored a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 win against no.6 seed Dominic Thiem earlier in the day.
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