With Novak Djokovic admittedly not in prime type, Tuesday’s match on the Mutua Madrid Open offered Gael Monfils with an actual likelihood to earn his first ATP Head2Head win towards the World No. 1.
However in what has proved a snug matchup for the Serb through the years, he snuffed out any likelihood of that with a 6-3, 6-2 victory to enhance to 18-0 towards the Frenchman. With the win, Djokovic assures himself of a record-extending 369th week as World No. 1 subsequent week; the injured Daniil Medvedev would have overtaken him atop the ATP Rankings if he misplaced in his Madrid opener.
The victory additionally made Djokovic the primary man to carry an 18-0 ATP Head2Head file towards an opponent within the Open period. A number of matchups have been tied at 17-0.
Tuesday’s assembly was solely the pair’s second on clay of their 18 matches, following a fourth-round match at Roland Garros in 2006. The slower floor made for loads of entertaining rallies between two of the sport’s greatest shotmakers, however Djokovic was by no means actually threatened after saving three early break factors. He didn’t face one other break level till he saved two extra on serving out the match.
The Serb took his solely break level of the primary set, then gained each of his break probabilities within the second to ease to victory. Djokovic was the far steadier participant, with Monfils greater than doubling his unforced error depend with 31. Monfils gained the winner depend, 18 to 11, producing his justifiable share of stunners, however Djokovic was at all times in command of the proceedings on Manolo Santana Stadium.
When he labored his manner into offense throughout some extent, Monfils’ Conversion rating of 60 per cent was aggressive with Djokovic’s 66 per cent, each gamers successful a minimum of three of each 5 factors during which they have been in an attacking place.
However there was a gulf within the respective Steadiness of Energy scores between the pair. Djokovic was in an attacking place 30 % of the time whereas Monfils, who likes to dig in deep behind the baseline, performed from assault simply 12 per cent of the match. That quantity left the Frenchman effectively wanting his clay-court common of 20 per cent in that metric. (Study extra about Balance of Power and Conversion & Steal scores.)
After going the space in every of his previous 5 matches, together with 4 in his run to the Belgrade ultimate final week, Djokovic will probably be happy to get via in straight units as he seems to be ahead to a last-16 assembly with both 14th seed Denis Shapovalov or wild card Andy Murray.
That matchup will shut Tuesday’s play Arantxa Sanchez Stadium.[NEWSLETTER FORM]