Djokovic has high praise for Sinner following Monte-Carlo clash
Djokovic defeated Sinner 6-4 6-2 to advance to the next round, improving his 2021 season record to 10-0. Although this was their first career meeting, the top seed had practiced with the Italian a few days earlier at the Piatti Tennis Center in Italy.
“I think what impresses me the most is his professionalism, his dedication to the everyday routines that he has to endure in order to play at such high level,” Djokovic said. “I think this is why the consistency of his results is there. With him it's different.”
Although Sinner was in great form following his runner-up finish in Miami, it was the Serbian who dictated for most of the match.
“I have to be satisfied considering I think I had a tough draw for the first round, playing Sinner, who is in form, who is striking the ball very well. I knew it was going to be a challenge. I walked into the court with the right intensity, right focus,” Djokovic added. “First maybe three, four games I was still feeling maybe not as comfortable hitting the ball. Then I started to work my way in the match.”
The 33-year old faces Britain's Dan Evans for a spot in the quarterfinals, with both men having never met on the ATP circuit.
“Very smart player,” Djokovic said. “You would think that with his game maybe the clay would suit him the least, but he's proving people wrong. He moves great. Very, very dynamic, explosive player. Great forehand, good serve. He comes to the net. He uses his slice very well.
“Obviously every time you face someone for the first time, probably I'm going to have to use a little bit more analysis of his game prior to tomorrow's match, talk to few people and my coach as well, try to prepare myself as best as I can.”