Djokovic Soars Into QFs

Top seed Novak Djokovic improved to a 14-match win streak on Thursday, beating Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-4, 6-0 in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

Djokovic is bidding to win the title at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the second time, following victory in 2013, when he defeated Rafael Nadal in the final; he also finished runner-up in 2009 and 2012 (l. to Nadal).

The Serb, who received the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award on Wednesday, arrived in Monte-Carlo on the back of completing the March Masters sweep, with titles in Indian Wells (d. Federer) and Miami (d. Murray). The Belgrade native has lost just two matches this season (26-2 record), also winning his eighth Grand Slam championship at the start of the year at the Australian Open (d. Murray).

Djokovic will next face reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic, and holds an 11-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the Croat.

“Now I have two matches that have been satisfying performance wise for me,” said Djokovic. “Now the quarter-finals are getting tougher, obviously. The level of performance needs to be high, needs to be sustained throughout the whole match if I want to be a winner of those encounters.

“I have Marin Cilic, who is a Grand Slam winner, who is playing the tennis of his life. He struggled a little bit with his injuries the past four months, but won against Tsonga. I watched a little bit of that match. I look forward to that challenge. Obviously now it’s going to get tougher.”

Earlier, No. 8 seed Cilic got the win over No. 11 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-3, 7-6(5) in 74 minutes.

The World No. 10 saved the only break point he faced while firing five aces to achieve his best showing at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.

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