Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked tennis player, secured his first win in over a month by defeating Ivan Gakhov in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Djokovic, who was given a first-round bye, defeated the Russian 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 to advance to the third round.
His last match was on March 3, where he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Djokovic was unable to participate in the Miami Open and Indian Wells Masters due to his Covid-19 vaccination status, which prevented him from entering the United States.
In the next round, the 22-time Grand Slam winner will face either Italy’s Luca Nardi, who is a qualifier, or 16th seed Lorenzo Musetti on the clay courts of Monaco.
“It was probably an ugly tennis win today,” said the two-time Monte Carlo winner.
“I haven’t played my best, particularly in the first set, but I kind of expected that to happen in a way with the conditions, a lot of wind today.
“All in all, I am pleased with the way I held my nerve in the important moments.”
Novak Djokovic’s only loss in 2023 so far remains to be his defeat by Daniil Medvedev in the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Unfortunately, both Dan Evans and Jack Draper were knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters, ending British interest in the tournament.
Evans, who is the British number two, was defeated 2-6 6-2 6-3 by Belarusian Ilya Ivashka in the first round. In the second round, Draper lost 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 to Polish 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz. Ivashka will play his brother-in-law, Russian ninth seed Karen Khachanov, in the second round, while Hurkacz will face either Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman or Italian seventh seed Jannik Sinner in the last 16.