Monte Carlo Masters: Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber match preview
Kohlschreiber doesn't have a great record against Djokovic, but their last meeting went in the favor of the German in the third round of the Indian Wells as he beat Djokovic 6-4, 6-4.
The 35-year-old Kohlschreiber is in the last leg of his career and is doing his best to go as deep as he can in every tournament he is participating. His single-handed backhand can cause some serious troubles to the opponent and even at this age, he is a pretty quick mover on court and can amaze everyone with some spectacular shots.
Djokovic on the other hand has been struggling to meet expectations since his victory at the Australian Open. This is not the same as the lean phase he had after his victory at Roland Garros in 2016, but his form right now is unpredictable as he is once again trying hard to be motivated on the court.
At the Miami Open against Roberto Bautista Agut, Djokovic won the first set and was in a commanding position in the second before he completely fell apart. That kind of collapse is very rare for Djokovic as he is usually a dominant player once he gets the upper hand in a match.
That said, even though Djokovic's performance in the last two tournaments was not up to the mark, it may not take much time for him to get back to winning ways.
In their head-to-head record, Djokovic is leading with eight wins while Kohlschreiber has won two. Apart from his victory at Indian Wells this year, and the other one that Kohlschreiber won dates back to 2009 in Roland Garros.
Kohlschreiber has won eight singles titles in his career and six out of those eight have come on clay, which proves his affinity for the surface. He likes to take his time before unloading on his shots, and the slow claycourts will always help that style.
Djokovic meanwhile can adapt to any surface and can dictate the pace of the game with his razor-sharp groundstrokes. Adjusting to the surface will not be a big problem for him but maintaining his focus throughout the match could be.
All in all, it is going to be an entertaining affair between the two in the Monte Carlo second round. The Serb is expected to come out on top, but we know Kohlschreiber has the ability to spring a surprise.
The other matches to look forward to on Day 3 include the following:
1) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Taylor Fritz
2) Stan Wawrinka vs Marco Cecchinato
3) Gilles Simon vs Alexei Popyrin
4) Jaume Munar vs Borna Coric