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Djokovic defeats Safiulin to reach Monte Carlo Masters round of 16

Novak Djokovic (No. 1-Serbia) has reached the round of 16 in the singles competition at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters on the men's ATP Tour (€5.975 million).

Djokovic defeated No. 41-ranked Roman Safiulin (Russia) 2-0 (6-1 6-2) in the second round of singles on day three of the tournament in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on Tuesday.

Djokovic, who lost in the quarterfinals of this year's Australian Open, most recently won the ATP Finals last November.

He was knocked out in the round of 32 at the BNP Paribas Open in March, but his run to the round of 16 at this year's tournament has raised hopes of a turnaround.

The top-seeded Djokovic breezed through the first round with a straight-sets victory over Safiullin in the second round.

Djokovic will meet Lorenzo Musetti (24th-ranked Italy) in the round of 16 for the second time in as many years, with Musetti defeating Djokovic 2-1 (4-6 7-5 6-4).

It will be interesting to see if Djokovic, who remains the world No. 1 and broke the ATP record for the oldest player to win a singles title at 36 years, 11 months, can repeat his feat in a year.

Meanwhile, world number three Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) withdrew due to a right arm muscle injury.

The Spaniard, who overcame an ankle injury to win the BNP Paribas Open, withdrew from the tournament early due to a sudden arm muscle strain.