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Monte Carlo Masters: Dan Evans to meet Novak Djokovic in third round
- Updated: April 15, 2021
British number one Dan Evans will face Novak Djokovic in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters after easing past Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets.
Evans, who sealed his first tour-level win on clay in four years on Tuesday, beat the Polish 13th seed 6-4 6-1.
Djokovic beat Italian teenager Jannik Sinner 6-4 6-2 in what was the world number one’s first match since winning the Australian Open in February.
“It was a very good encounter,” said the Serb, 33.
“I thought it was a great first match [and] a big challenge for me. Jannik is in form. He played the final [in] Miami and has been playing well.
“I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time.”
Djokovic, a two-time champion in Monte Carlo, is now 10 matches unbeaten in 2021.
He will play Evans for the first time in the third round after the Briton’s win over Miami Open champion Hurkacz, who appeared to be struggling with illness.
“I am a bit more comfortable with the gap playing on clay than last year,” Evans, 30, told Amazon Prime Sport.
“It has been a bit easier to move, I have been accepting it a bit more and enjoying it.
“I have been better in practice and getting on if I have not been playing so well.”
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal will play former world number three Grigor Dimitrov in the third round, after the Spaniard defeated Federico Delbonis 6-1 6-2.
Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Nadal is chasing a 12th title in Monte Carlo and has beaten 29-year-old Bulgarian Dimitrov in 13 of their 14 tour meetings.
After the match, he said he was not concerned about contracting Covid-19, despite having trained with Daniil Medvedev who had to withdraw from the tournament after a positive test.
“I was not worried because I practised with him, but I was never close to him,” Nadal, 34, said. “When these things happen, it is not good. But I felt sorry for him more than for me.
“I was never in touch with him, never closer than four meters, only at the end to say thanks for one second. But anything can happen, of course.”