Dominic Thiem captured his second career win over Novak Djokovic on Thursday at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. The Austrian no.5 seed beat the two-time former champion 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-3 in their third round encounter that lasted 2 hours and 29 minutes.

Thiem, who is one of the strongest performers on clay courts over the past two years, broke Novak’s serve in the second game and consolidated it for 3-0 lead. He was serving for the set at 5-3, when the ninth seed broke back to force a tie-break. Nole won it 7-2 to gain advantage in the contest.

The 12-time major titlist could not keep the momentum going. Dominic held his composure despite falling behind. Novak got broken twice in the second and third sets and congratulated his rival in the end.

“I’m feeling like it’s been getting better every day. I played without pain in the elbow, which is important. I have my coach Marian back in the box. So a lot of good things. I haven’t played too many matches since July. I’ll continue building up,” said Novak.

Match statistics: aces (3-9), double faults (2-5), winners (20-36), unforced errors (40-33).

Next tournament for Novak will be the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (ATP 500) from April 23 to April 29. It will be Nole’s second appearance in Barcelona after he has been awarded a wildcard.

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