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.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR, BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early 70s …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during one …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

  • Miriam pushes tougher graft law
    Miriam pushes tougher graft law

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that would make public officials liable for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act even if they are elected to a fresh term or a new position. In filing Senate Bill 2716, Santiago sought to address what she said was the doctrine of condonation in Philippine jurisprudence brought about by the 2010 case of Salumbides vs. Ombudsman. “By merely asserting the doctrine of condonation, erring elective officials are automatically given a …

  • Phl hits back at China over sea infra work
    Phl hits back at China over sea infra work

    The Philippines assailed China yesterday for contesting Manila’s planned repair and maintenance works on some islands in the West Philippine Sea, saying they are “in no way comparable” to the Asian power’s massive reclamation activities which are in violation of international laws. “The Philippines’ possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea, over which the Philippines rightfully exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options