In recent weeks Juan Monaco has morphed into an in form and incredibly focused and consistent version of himself. Today in Rome against Novak Djokovic he was only able to maintain that intensity for just over a set, Nole walking away with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win.
The new and improved Monaco took the match to Novak in the opening set and took the first break of serve comfortably for a 3-2 lead. It was an extremely focused Monaco who seemed to bully the Serbian around the court, dictating with his forehand.
After wasting two set points at 5-3 Monaco attempted to serve out the set before being forced to defend a break point with an incredible (and gutsy) drop shot.
Eventually, when Monaco finally took the set 6-4, Djokovic demolished his racket as he seemed to struggle to generate racket head speed on his forehand.
Out of nowhere Monaco seemed to lose his concentration after breaking 2-1 in the second set with 20 of 24 points going to Djokovic – the second set disappearing from the Argentinians grasp very quickly.
While Djokovic simply maintained his level Monaco’s game (and luck) disappeared. Within two hours and nineteen minutes the match was over.
Novak will face Jo Wilfried Tsonga or Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarters.