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Novak Djokovic v Dusan Lajovic ATP Monte Carlo tennis predictions, betting tips & live stream: Djokovic to advance in straight sets

Leye Aduloju 16 Apr 2018
  • Novak Djokovic vs Dusan Lajovic is live from Monte Carlo on Monday, 16 April from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST
  • Djokovic won their only previous meeting in Doha in 2015
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Monte Carlo at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Novak Djokovic. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

With Marian Vajda back in his corner, former world number one, Novak Djokovic looks to end a run of two successive opening round defeats on the ATP Tour when he takes on fellow Serbian, Dusan Lajovic in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.

Novak Djokovic vs Dusan Lajovic Monte Carlo Masters tennis is live from Monte Carlo on Monday, 16 April from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST. Watch and bet on tennis live from Monte Carlo at Unibet > live streaming > tennis

Djokovic ended his decade-long association with Vajda just before last year’s Madrid Open, but his experiment with ‘super coach’, Andre Agassi and subsequently, Radek Stepanek did not quite yield the desired results, and with his infamous slump hitting a new low with opening round exits at Indian Wells and Miami, the Serbian split with Agassi and Stepanek, and is now back with the tried-and-trusted Vajda for the Monte Carlo Masters, albeit in an unofficial capacity for the time being. Will a return to the old faithful yield a change in fortunes for the struggling Serbian?

Djokovic’s struggles go all the way back to June 2016, just after he completed the career Slam at Roland Garros. The first real cracks appeared at Wimbledon that year, where he lost to Sam Querrey in the third round. That was followed by a slow and steady slide, which resulted in him losing his No. 1 ranking to Andy Murray before the end of the year. The slide continued in 2017, when he suffered an ignominious second-round defeat to wildcard, Denis Istomin at the Australian Open, and he never truly got it together again until his season came to an abrupt end at Wimbledon, where he retired from a quarter final meeting with Tomas Berdych because of an elbow injury.

The 30-year-old returned to the tour at the Australian Open, but his struggles were far from over. Still obviously bothered by his troublesome elbow, Djokovic lost to Korean youngster, Hyeon Chung in the fourth round in Melbourne, before eventually undergoing surgery on the hurting elbow, a process he termed a ‘minor procedure’. It was minor enough to allow him play at Indian Wells, but the Serbian never looked right in opening round defeats in California and Miami, tournaments he had absolutely dominated a few years ago.

Defeat in Miami was followed by his split with Agassi, while Stepanek’s departure was confirmed days later. Djokovic was spotted practicing with Vajda by his side as he prepared for the clay-court season in Marbella, Spain, and while there has not been any official confirmation of the reunion, Vajda has been with him in Monte Carlo this week. It’s a tough draw for Djokovic, as he could face Borna Coric in the third round should he past Lajovic, while Dominic Thiem could be waiting in the third round, and then Rafael Nadal. Seeking his first victory since he beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the third round of the Australian Open, the two-time Monte Carlo champion takes on compatriot, Lajovic on Monday.

Lajovic looked good in qualifying, beating Hugo Nys and Sergiy Stakhovsky in straight sets to reach the main draw of the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time in his career. 

Dusan Lajovic. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
The 27-year-old is actually on a seven-match winning streak, having won the Le Gosier Challenger before heading to Monte Carlo. Lajovic has now won a Challenger title for the second year in a row, adding to his Bastad Challenger crown from 2017.

He didn’t enjoy as much success on the tour in 2017, with his most eye-catching result being a fourth-round run at Indian Wells, having come through the qualifying rounds. Lajovic also reached quarter finals in Istanbul, Kitzbuhel and Chengdu.

The Serbian has won just three main draw matches in 2018, one each in Buenos Aires, Indian Wells and Miami, while he suffered opening round defeats in Sydney, the Australian Open, Rio and Sao Paolo. Lajovic has been ranked as high as No. 57 in the world, a position he reached in 2014, but he is currently down at 90. In fact, he had actually slipped out of the top 100 after a poor start to the year, but those couple of wins at Indian Wells and Miami, and his title-winning run in Le Gosier lifted him back into that bracket.

Djokovic was a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victor over Lajovic in their only previous meeting in Doha in 2015, but that was when the former world number one operated very close to his best. The 12-time Grand Slam champion is well short of that form these days, and it remains to be seen whether the presence of Vajda can re-ignite the pre-June 2016 Djokovic. This is a match that he should win; but given that he lost to Taro Daniel and Benoit Paire at Indian Wells and Miami, this one is not exactly a forgone conclusion. 

Novak Djokovic vs Dusan Lajovic is live from Monte Carlo on Monday, 16 April from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST. Watch and bet on the match live at Unibet > live streaming > Novak Djokovic vs Dusan Lajovic


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Novak Djokovic v Dusan Lajovic ATP Monte Carlo tennis predictions, betting tips & live stream: Djokovic to advance in straight sets

Novak Djokovic begins his Monte Carlo campaign against fellow Serbian, Dusan Lajovic. Will Djokovic end a three-match losing streak? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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