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Monte-Carlo Masters: Novak Djokovic beats Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets to reach final eight

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Monte-Carlo Masters: Novak Djokovic beats Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets to reach final eight

Novak Djokovic got his revenge over Lorenzo Musetti after beating him 7-5 6-3 at the Monte-Carlo Masters to reach the quarter-finals.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion lost to Musetti last year at the same tournament when he suffered a shock third-round defeat to the Italian.

Nerves returned after Musetti led by a break in the first set but Djokovic managed to find his rhythm and capitalised on the Italian's mistakes.

The top seed gained the decisive break in the 12th game of the first set before he turned up the tempo in the second set to reach the last eight after one hour and 59 minutes.

Djokovic will next meet Alex de Minaur after the Australian beat Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-4 earlier on Thursday at Monte Carlo.

The 36-year-old, who will celebrate his birthday next month, is competing in his first event since splitting with his former coach Goran Ivanisevic.

Djokovic was victorious in the French Riviera in 2013 and 2015 but the world No. 1 is still searching for his first trophy of the season after reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open.

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"The little exchange with the crowd was the turning point. Ever since then I started to gain momentum, I think he dropped his level and focus a little bit," Djokovic said.

"Things can turn around very quickly. We saw a little bit of a rollercoaster in the second set and I'm just glad staying tough and aggressive in the right moments paid off.

"I don't think I'm still at my top level. But it was a great test today against an amazing player, a very talented player particularly on clay.

"I'm really glad to overcome the challenge and look forward to the next one."

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