Grieving Djokovic battles into Monte Carlo quarters

Novak Djokovic buried his grief to advance to the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday, just hours after learning of the death in Serbia of his beloved grandfather.

The world number one elected to take to the court against Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine after suffering the heart-breaking blow at training in the morning.

His match, interrupted by the fourth rain shower of the day at the Monte Carlo Country Club, eventually ended with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 win and a pleading look to the Mediterranean skies from the distraught star.

Djokovic was said to be close to grandfather Vladimir and sheltered with him and other family members during the NATO bombing of Belgrade in 1999.

After leaving the court in silence organisers the ATP released a statement which read: "Novak Djokovic would like to ask for your understanding.

"As you know, he lost his grandfather today just before the match, and it was very hard for him to play. After he won, he just felt totally exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally."

There was no word as to whether the world number one would continue in the tournament which he missed last year during a record-setting season of ten titles including three of the four grand slams.

He is due to face Holland's Robin Haase in Friday's quarter-finals.

Second seed Rafael Nadal continued his quest for an eighth straight title at the tournament as he dispatched Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-1, 6-1.

Nadal will next face Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland for a place in the semi-finals.

World number two Nadal needed just 60 minutes to see off Kukushkin, breaking serve five times from six opportunities and dropping only six points on serve.

He improved his career record in Monte Carlo to 41-1, his only defeat coming against Guillermo Coria in the third round in 2003.

"The match started in the perfect way," said Nadal. "I played much better than yesterday, in my opinion. More aggressive, more solid. My serve was much better. The return, too. In general today I was very happy with how I played."

Meanwhile, Andy Murray's apparent jinx on opponents continued, with the third seed advancing when Frenchman Julien Benneteau went down with an ankle injury and subsequent broken elbow.

Murray got a rare two walkovers last month in Miami, when Canadian Milos Raonic was injured before their third-round encounter and Nadal was unable to play their semi-final due to the knee problems which continue to haunt him.

Fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saved nine break points to beat Fernando Verdasco of Spain, the 13th seed, 7-6 (9/7), 6-2.

He became the first French player into the last eight since Richard Gasquet five years ago and was then joined by compatriot Gilles Simon, who upset seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-0, 4-6, 6-1.

The two Frenchmen meet on Friday for a last-four place.

Sixth seed Tomas Berdych rallied past Japan's Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to line up against Murray in the next round.

Murray was leading 6-5 in the first set against the world number 31 Benneteau when the Frenchman took a tumble, rolling his right ankle and landing badly.

"It looked like quite a bad one, he fell quite heavily," said Murray of Benneteau.

Grimacing in pain, Benneteau was patched up and tried to play on but gave up to end the abbreviated contest after 11 games.

"It was a tough match, a lot of long games, quite a few long rallies," said Murray.

"It was very cool conditions today in comparison to the other day, so the court was playing a bit slower. He was going for his shots and making it tough."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options