Coric vs. Djokovic
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 18, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Novak Djokovic and Borna Coric meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Monte Carlo Masters.
Novak Djokovic is coming off a straight sets win over Dusan Lajovic that took 13 games to decide. In the victory, Djokovic won 82 percent of his first serve points and 60 percent of his second serve points. Djokovic is coming off one of his best showings in quite some time, as he dominated his service game and won 67 percent of his return points. Those are all encouraging signs for Djokovic, but it now comes down to conditioning, as he has very little recent play under his belt and hasn’t played two matches in a single tournament since the Australian Open. Djokovic also is never at his best on clay court, so I suggest watching with caution and not diving in head first after one match. Djokovic has won nine of his last 11 matches on clay court.
Borna Coric is coming off a straight sets win over Julien Benneteau that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Coric won 67 percent of his first serve points and 79 percent of his second serve points. Coric got 61 percent of his first serves in play and hit eight aces, a formula that will make the rising star that much tougher to beat if he can continue though numbers. Coric is off to a really strong start to the season, and while he has hiccups at times and misses easy shots, he muscles his way through matches and shows toughness by finding ways to win. Coric plays a lot of three set matches when he doesn’t have to, and it sometimes takes the 21-year-old a set to get going, something he can’t afford to do in this match. Coric has split his last six matches on clay court.
These two have played once, which was in the 2016 Madrid Masters, a match Djokovic won in straight sets. The match took 18 games to be decided.
I need to see more from Djokovic before I say he’s back and ready to return as an automatic play. Yes, it was a solid, solid performance, but it was also just one match against a player ranked in the 70s. Either way, I like Djokovic to win this match as well. Coric is finding ways to win, but he’s also inconsistent in matches and allows his opponent to hang around. That won’t fly in a match against Djokovic.
Djokovic wins a competitive match but likely in straight sets.