Thiem overcomes Djokovic and could meet Nadal in Monte Carlo
20 April 2018, 12:59 | Kristine Mills
Thiem beat Djokovic in straight sets in the French Open quarterfinals a year ago including 6-0 in the third but Djokovic won their other five meetings.
Austrian Thiem is one of the best claycourt players on tour, having reached the French Open semi-finals in each of the last two seasons, and he was impressed by his vanquished opponent's performances in Monaco. "He's one of the best players in general", Djokovic said, as quoted by ATP's official website.
"I was 10 centimetres from being out of the tournament".
Thiem, as Djokovic concedes, loves playing on the red dirt. I played without pain in the elbow, which is important. "But I'm looking forward to watching Djokovic and Coric in front of the TV and then playing the victor on Thursday".
Goffin, semifinalist previous year, next plays Grigor Dimitrov after the fourth-seeded Bulgarian beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6 6-3 6-4. Thimm beat Russia's Andre Rublev 5-7, 7-5, 7-5.
"Ideally I'd want to be playing the way I played for so many years", the former world number one, now ranked 13, said.
And Herbert, the world number 82, wrapped up the opening set with another break as Dimitrov mishit a forehand into the stands.
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Bautista Agut then gave Goffin a headache by rallying back from 5-1 down in the second, saving two match points to draw level, but a break of serve at a crucial point enabled the Belgian to close out a 6-4 7-5 win.
Djokovic did save three set points in the first set, and the momentum carried over into the tiebreak. "I'm obviously lacking that match play".
"All I (could) do was just fight and find a way to win, how doesn't really matter".
Third seed Alexander Zverev defeated a mid-match blip to beat fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff 6 4 46 6 4, but was refused a quarterfinal interview his elderly brother Mischa, that lost 6-2 7-5 to Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Zherdev beat Luxembourg's Giles Muller 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
World number three without hitting a ball Marin Cilic progressed Milos Raonic withdrew due to a knee injury. "I mean, I could have won the match earlier definitely, but it was great to deal with these kind of emotions again", said the 12-time Grand Slam champion.
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