Novak Djokovic, top seed at the Monte Carlo Masters, won his opening match against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany today – but a smashed racket testified to the frustration he felt during his 6-3. 4-6, 6-4 second round win.
- While the world number one experienced frustration, worse was in store for two of the world’s leading players on the day as Croatia’s Marin Cilic, 2014 US Open winner and finalist at last year’s Australian Open, lost to Argentina’s Guido Pella 3-6, 7-5, 1-6.
Switzerland’s three-times Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka also exited in the second round, beaten 6-0, 7-5, 6-3 by Italy’s Marco Cecchinato.
Djokovic, who lost to Kohlschreiber in the third round at Indian Wells in March, also threw his racquet into the crowd as he struggled to close out the match.
Djokovic, who received treatment to his thumb during the first set, committed eight double faults.
Kohlschreiber tested Djokovic but was unable to make his opportunities count as the Serb saved 12 of the 16 break points he faced.
"It was not the prettiest of matches," Djokovic, 31, said.
"He played well, but a win is a win.
“his was a tough first match of the clay season."
Eleven-time champion Rafael Nadal, who had a first-round bye, begins his title defence against fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut tomorrow.
In other second round matches, Lorenzo Sonego of Italy beat Russia’s Paris Masters champion Karen Kachanov 7-6, 6-4.