World number two and two-time champion Novak Djokovic advanced at the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday, getting past France’s Gilles Simon 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 to reach the tournament’s third-round.
Djokovic had to conjure up a break point from 4-5 down in the final set and rattled off the match’s final three games to win his first ATP match since beating Juan Martin del Potro in Indian Wells.
“It was a very close battle that could have ended differently, and would be, of course, deserved if he would have won the match,” said Djokovic. “He was two, three points away from winning it. I got myself out of that tricky situation. That’s probably the most positive thing I take from today.”
Djokovic improves to 11-1 all-time against Simon, and moves on to play the winner of 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta or Karen Khachanov of Russia.
Elsewhere in Monte Carlo, seventh-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was ousted by fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. The qualifier took out Tsonga 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-3 and will move on to play the winner of another countryman, Lucas Pouille, or Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi.
10th seed David Goffin fought back from 1-5 down in the opening set to beat Nicolas Almagro 7-5, 6-1, and he moves on to play the winner of Dominic Thiem and Robin Haase.