Djokovic battles past Coric to reach third round

Serbia's Novak Djokovic is a 12-time Grand Slam champion but has fallen to 13 in the ATP rankings after injury problems
AFP

Monte Carlo (Principality of Monaco) (AFP) – Novak Djokovic needed 10 match points to claim a hard fought straight-sets victory over the dangerous Borna Coric on Wednesday, setting up a Monte Carlo Masters third-round clash with Dominic Thiem.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion, playing only his fourth tournament since Wimbledon last July after struggling with a right elbow injury, overcame some late nerves to win 7-6 (7/2), 7-5.

Djokovic is working with long-time former coach Marian Vajda for the first time in almost a year after splitting from Andre Agassi, and the 30-year-old has looked rejuvenated in Monaco after early exits in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Serbian will next face Austrian fifth seed Thiem with a possible quarter-final against defending champion Rafael Nadal, who plays Aljaz Bedene later on Wednesday, up for grabs.

.