Novak Djokovic faces Monte Carlo test against Coric
Serbian returned with a Monday victory
Sky Sports Arena, 10am Wednesday
Novak Djokovic eased to victory on his comeback in the opening round of the ATP Monte Carlo Masters when he defeated fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic 6-0 6-1 on Monday but he is sure to face a tougher task to dismiss Borna Coric.
Djokovic declared himself to be playing pain-free tennis for the first time in two years on Monday but there have been many false dawns on the 30-year-old’s road to recovery and it’s no certainty that he’ll be anything like his best against Coric, who also eased through his opening match against Julien Benneteau.
Djokovic came back at the Australian Open at the beginning of the year, where he showed glimpses of form before being humbled in straight sets by Hyeon Chung in the last 16.
He then produced two lacklustre displays to exit at the first possible opportunity when beaten by Taro Daniel and Benoit Paire at Indian Wells and Miami, neither of whom are currently playing at anything like the same level as Coric.
The young Croat, a champion on clay in Casablanca last season and a Masters 1000 quarter-finalist on the same surface in Madrid, had a fine spring hard-court season in reaching the semi-finals of Indian Wells and the quarters in Miami.
He’s determined and gets plenty of balls back into play so there’s potential for the match to become a real grind for Djokovic given that he is unlikely to be at peak fitness.
With that in mind, Coric can be considered in the match betting but he looks worth backing to win a set at 8-11.
B Coric to win at least a set
1pt 8-11 general
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