• Djokovic, Dolgopolov battle in round of 16

    4/19/12 12:01 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Djokovic, Dolgopolov battle in round of 16 World No. 1 Novak Djokovic looks to extend his run at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, as he takes to the court against 16th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov. The players are vying to secure a spot in the quarterfinal Thursday afternoon.

    Top seed Novak Djokovic leads 16th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov 1-0 in the series, having won their only previous meeting at the 2011 US Open. Thursday marks their first clash on clay.

    Djokovic opened his Monte-Carlo bid with a routine victory over Italy’s Andreas Seppi. The 24-year-old passed through the second round unbroken, 6-1, 6-4.

    He is bidding for his fifth consecutive quarterfinal berth of the season.

    Dolgopolov reached the round of 16 after holding on to dismiss Australia’s Bernard Tomic in three sets. The 23-year-old will attempt to make his first quarterfinal in Monte-Carlo.

    "I know I can compete with (Djokovic)," said Dolgopolov. "Then you just go in the match, try to show your best tennis. He's been dominating for the second year now. For sure you need to do your best. I mean, he's No. 1, I'm No. 21. Obviously he's higher in the rankings. He's playing more consistent. But I think I have my chances and I'll try my best."

    Prediction: Djokovic in straight sets.

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Djokovic grandpa just died, he pulled out from training

atg , 4/19/12 2:40 PM

yep, but he will play

RickyDimon , 4/19/12 2:56 PM

A sad day for the djokovic family. My condolences.

cherylmurray , 4/19/12 4:08 PM

Sorry about Nole's grandfather. Not a good day for him :(

deuce , 4/19/12 4:25 PM

Oh dear, Nole's looking really preoccupied and has got broken twice. Shame if he loses like this :(

deuce , 4/19/12 4:34 PM

Credit to Nole for even stepping out on court today. Shame that Dolgo's first win over Nole comes like this though.

mriiidula , 4/19/12 4:36 PM

They could, at least, have waited until after the match to tell him.

nadline , 4/19/12 4:40 PM

C'mon Novak.....just do it....

rafaisthebest , 4/19/12 4:41 PM

who says Dolgo will win?

natashao , 4/19/12 4:48 PM

He did know b4 the match, just. Walked off practise court in tears.

deuce , 4/19/12 4:51 PM

Sorry to hear about nole's gramps, but looks like he's making a comeback in the second set. nole that is. sorry:(
nadline, wait until after the match to tell him ?? like, which is more important, grandfather dying or getting to play dolly mixtures? if gramps has just died, stuff the tennis I say. perspective, no?

alex , 4/19/12 5:06 PM

Well done Nole.

mriiidula , 4/19/12 5:11 PM

So sorry to hear about Nole's grandfather - he has my hearfelt condolences.

schatz , 4/19/12 5:12 PM

alex, each to his/her own.

My friend's grandma died on the morning of her wedding and she wasn't told until afterwards. In fact my daughter had her engagement party on the day my mother passed and we kept it from her until much later on.

Bad news before an important event doesn't make the bad news better, but it will overshadow everything.

nadline , 4/19/12 5:23 PM

You're right nadline, but those are all happy examples, stuff people remember forever and look back in joy. If you're friend or daughter were at work instead, it would have been differend. This is just a tennis match. Nole's job.

nemanja230690 , 4/19/12 5:28 PM a-teniser-igra-protiv-Dolgopolova

On this page there is a video od Novak getting the sad news. My condolences Nole!

nemanja230690 , 4/19/12 5:33 PM

Nole is strong guy and is handling this well...BTW, he will beat Dolgo...never underestimate Nole's mental strength...he is grown into a mental giant...

natashao , 4/19/12 5:37 PM

it is impossible to keep it from him. just omagine how he would feel if news of this dead would have come out during his match. in that case the viewers would know it before him. maybe people wojld try to console him with cheers or something. he would not be handli g that very well i feel. SO he takes it as it is and i hope he woll come trough.

advan , 4/19/12 5:39 PM

Don't want to labour the point, but if you were about to take an exam and your grandparent passed away, surely, it would be in your interest to save the news until later.

nadline , 4/19/12 5:39 PM

nemanja, right.
wedding. important.
engagement. important.
the world's top player playing a routine game of tennis against a middle ranked opponent in the early rounds of a non-slam event. nah.
just a day of low to medium importance in the middle of a working week.
poor nole maybe just in a state of emotional shock.
in 20 years time the only reason he'll remember this game of tennis is because it happened the day his gramps died. he certainly won't be remembering the day his gramps died because it happened the day he played dolgopolov.

alex , 4/19/12 5:46 PM

surwly everybody agrees that nole should hear about the dead before spectators or commentators? YOU do not want to labour the point,but it was the only just deciaion his team has made.

advan , 4/19/12 5:58 PM

i just hope nole doesn't later regret playing as these are the kind of regrets it can be hard to shake off in life. i'm sure he'll have asked himself, 'what would gramps want me to do?' before deciding to go ahead. now that he's decided, just hope he wins.

alex , 4/19/12 6:05 PM

Very, very close in this third set. Really interesting match now.
alex, who knows? But it would make more sense to abandon a tournament if a relative was seriously ill wouldn't it? Nothing Nole can do now, except mourn.

deuce , 4/19/12 6:20 PM

maybe that's what he should just do then. he may still decide to do that, even if he wins today. anyway, i wish him the best either way.

alex , 4/19/12 6:25 PM

well done, nole.

alex , 4/19/12 6:29 PM

Well played Nole! Brilliant in the end!

deuce , 4/19/12 6:29 PM

Condolences to the djokovic family. Must've been a very weird match to play in from dolgopolov's point of view. Sad day

willmw101 , 4/19/12 6:39 PM

I turned on the tv and saw that Dolgo won the first set 6-2 and sensed that something must be wrong. The commentators were talking about how Nole was grieving and trying to go on in the face of his sadness. I went online and that's how I found out that his grandfather died.

I feel for him and send my condolences to both him and his family. There is nothing harder than trying to go out there and compete with a broken heart. He did well to come back and win the second set and then get the win in a tight third set.

I saw him send a kiss to the sky and raise his arms after his victory. Then he started to cry again. Your heart has to go out to him in this difficult moment. He did well to keep it together and win the match.

I think his grandfather would be very proud.

Nativenewyorker , 4/19/12 11:15 PM

Good article nemanja. Thanks.

chr18 , 4/20/12 3:54 AM

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