Monte Carlo, 13 April 2024 | Dan Imhoff

Alex de Minaur’s quest for a maiden Masters 1000 semifinal on clay has fallen short in a scrappy affair against world No.1 Novak Djokovic at Monte Carlo.

The 11th seed stood to become the first man since Dominic Thiem five years ago to deny the Serbian twice in succession in the same season and the first Australian since John Alexander in 1979 to reach the last four at Monte Carlo but was beaten 7-5 6-4 in two hours and five minutes.

De Minaur, who opened the season with his first victory over Djokovic at the United Cup at Perth, joked with the top seed that their level in the second set of the 7-5 6-4 result was “ugly” on Friday.

“It was tough for both off us,” Djokovic said. “Alex is one of the quickest players on tour who gets a lot of balls back that normally 99 per cent of players on tour don’t, and he surprised me with some passing shots, particularly in the second set.”

Aussies in action – Monte Carlo

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d [11] Alex de Minaur (AUS) 7-5 6-4

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