Just a day after learning his grandfather had died, World Number One Novak Djokovic advanced to the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Robert Hasse.
“He’s with me, I know that, in spirit,” Djokovich said of his grandfather. “I’m remembering only the nicest memories, and that’s what gave me strength to play yesterday and today … Today was a bit better, but still a lot of emotional ups and downs throughout the match. I’m very satisfied that I was able to compose myself and get on the court and try to win matches. I got to the semi-finals, which is big result for me under the circumstances.”
Djokovich will face Tomas Berdych, and with a win will likely face his archnemesis Rafael Nadal in the finals. Nadal has won 40 straight matches in Monte Carlo.
Djokovich said he considered withdrawing when he got the sad news, but instead will miss his grandfather’s funeral to focus on tennis. “I’m a professional and life goes on,” explained Djokovich. “I know that I cannot change anything now. Obviously it’s what life gives you and takes you. It’s a normal circle of life. I was very close to him, so it was a big loss for me.“