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Dublin: 3°C Monday 12 April 2021

High-rollers: Djokovic and Murray come up trumps at Monte Carlo

Novak battled back from a set down while Andy will now face Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals of the Rolex Masters.

Andy Murray plays a shot at the net during his third round clash
Andy Murray plays a shot at the net during his third round clash
Image: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

SCOTLAND’S ANDY MURRAY claimed he was looking for a stern challenge at Monte Carlo but he got less than an hour’s work-out against Julien Benneteau of France.

Murray, ranked number four in the world, entered the Rolex Masters in the south of France eager to break an ATP Tour duck of clay-court tournament wins.

The 24-year-old was tied with Benneteau at five games apiece and 30-30 when the Frenchman landed awkwardly on his right ankle after stretching to return a volley.

Top seed Novak Djokovic lost the first set of his third round match, 6-2, against Alexandr Dolgopolov before taking the second 6-1. The scores were at 4-4 in the third before the Serb put the squeeze on and broke the Ukrainian before serving out for the win.

Learning from Lendl

Murray believes that his new coach, Ivan Lendl, has developed his game to such an extent that he can realistically contend for the French Open.

Murray explained that his coaching team sat down immediately after his Australian Open Final loss to Djokovic and focused on the next Grand Slam. He added:

I won against Novak in Dubai. That was a good start for getting ready for the French Open and having that belief that you can win against him, which is the most important thing.

Berdych, a winner in three sets on Thursday,  believes that the only way to beat Murray will be to get him moving about the court and cut down on space for the Scot to unload powerful volleys.

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