World number one Novak Djokovic survived a major scare on Wednesday as he scraped his way into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Djokovic had left it late to decide whether or not he would appear in the principality, after suffering an ankle injury while playing in the Davis Cup last week, and he may have been regretting his decision at the end of the first set against Mikhail Youzhny.
The 25-year-old, a two-time runner-up at this tournament, dropped the first set 6-4 as Youzhny forced him to play off his injury ankle.
However, Djokovic came storming back to take the second set in emphatic fashion and he then wrapped up a 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory despite the best efforts on Youzhny in the final set.
"My movements on the clay are still not at the maximum and not where I want them to be," Djokovic admitted afterwards. "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.
"I haven't practised 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 bidding to win his third tour-level title of the season, following victories at the Australian Open and the Dubai Championships.