Djokovic comes through Monte Carlo test unscathed; Nadal victorious

Novak Djokovic punches the air in relief after winning his second round match at the Monte Carlo Masters

Story highlights

  • World no. 1 Novak Djokovic wins second round Monte Carlo Masters match
  • Serbian had been struggling with an ankle injury but comes through unscathed
  • Rafael Nadal wins 43rd successive match in Monte Carlo beating Marinko Matosevic
  • Andy Murray through to round three after beating France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin

It is testament to Novak Djokovic's prowess on the tennis court that the Serbian can still battle his way to victory despite admitting he is not 100% fit.

The world No. 1 turned his ankle during Serbia's recent Davis Cup victory over the United States, throwing his participation at the Monte Carlo Masters into doubt.

But on Wednesday Djokovic took to the court and though he was made to work hard for his three-set victory by Russia's Mikhail Youzhny he held firm to triumph 4-6 6-1 6-4.

"My movements on the clay are still not at the maximum and not where I want them to be," Djokovic told the ATP Tour's official website.

Read: How Novak Djokovic rose to the top

"But as the days go by, I think I'm going to slowly get into it and hopefully I can elevate the level of performance in the next match. Today was a big test, over two hours. I had a great quality opponent.

"I'm very happy to win. I'm just happy to compete, to be honest. I didn't know if I'm going to be playing the tournament up to yesterday basically. I know that my game is still not there, obviously, and I had a lot of ups and downs throughout the match.

"Physically also I think I've put double the effort than I do usually because I still don't feel comfortable.

Djokovic: 'My dreams came true'
Djokovic: 'My dreams came true'


    Djokovic: 'My dreams came true'


Djokovic: 'My dreams came true' 00:43
Rafael Nadal returns to the court
Rafael Nadal returns to the court


    Rafael Nadal returns to the court


Rafael Nadal returns to the court 06:19
Federer: Do more drug testing
Federer: Do more drug testing


    Federer: Do more drug testing


Federer: Do more drug testing 03:19
The drought in U.S. men's tennis
The drought in U.S. men's tennis


    The drought in U.S. men's tennis


The drought in U.S. men's tennis 03:34

"I haven't practiced much. An hour maximum a day. Obviously it's taking its toll on my game. But as I said, happy to win and see what tomorrow can bring."

Djokovic is looking to finally claim the Monte Carlo title after being beaten by Spain's Rafael Nadal in last year's final as well as in 2009.

Nadal has won eight successive titles in Monte Carlo and recorded his 43rd straight tournament victory by dispatching Australia's Marinko Matosevic 6-1 6-2.

The 11-time grand slam champion is on a 15-match winning run having taken titles in Sao Paulo, Acapulco and Indian Wells and enjoyed a comfortable win, despite going 2-0 down in the second set.

"I played well at the beginning with the right intensity, with no mistakes," said Nadal. "I was trying to do the right things to find a good feeling on the ball, to find the right rhythm. I played to the right places, and that gave me confidence.

"I didn't play my best game, the first game of the second, and he played well, so he had the break. And after that he played well for a while in the next games.

"Then he had good chances, two break points for [a] 3 0 [lead]. It was not an easy moment. I played one good point and I was able to come back."

World No. 2 Andy Murray, from Britain, took just 73 minutes to ease past France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin, winning 6-1 6-4.

"I won the close games, which was important," said Murray. "I didn't make too many mistakes. It was solid.

"I returned well, served well. If you do those two things well on any surface. it gives you a good base to work from. It was a good start."

Tomas Berdych, the No. 4 seed from the Czech Republic, beat Spain's Marcel Granollers 7-5 6-4 while No. 9 seed Marian Cilic saw off South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-2 6-3.

Two seeds suffered shock defeats as Spain's Nicolas Almagro, the No. 10 seed, was knocked out by Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

Canada's Milos Raonic, seeded 12, lost to Finalnd's Jarko Niemenen.


    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      What does 2015 hold for Rafa?

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      Love game: Andy Murray to tie knot

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      'Crocodile' who broke all the rules

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena savors U.S. Open win

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      The amazing life of Althea Gibson

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • Courting couple at match point

      "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      'Baby' Sharapova's big moment

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • 'Swiss Miss' follows mom's lead

      Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.