Djokovic ousted by Thiem in Monte Carlo

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters by Austria's Dominic Thiem on Thursday.

Fifth seed Thiem won the third-round clash 6-7 (2-7), 6-2, 6-3 to book his place in the quarter-finals, where he will take on Rafael Nadal.

While there were some promising signs for Djokovic early on as he fought back from a break down to take the first set, Thiem was able to take control of the contest midway through the second set.

From 2-2 in the second, Thiem broke twice to level the scores and them claimed two more breaks late in the third to wrap up what turned out to be a fairly comfortable victory.

For Djokovic, it was another disappointing early exit since his return from a troublesome elbow injury, despite recently saying he was finally pain-free.

In the Serb's defence, Thiem is a highly talented clay court player, and losing to him on the surface is nothing to be ashamed about.

Awaiting the Austrian in the next round is none other than the King of Clay Rafa Nadal.

The Spaniard coasted into the last eight with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Karen Khachanov, although he can expect a much tougher challenge against Thiem in the quarter-finals.

Also advancing was Kei Nishikori, another player on the injury comeback trail. The Japanese star looked in good nick as he defeated Andreas Seppi 6-0, 2-6, 6-3 victory.

He moves on to face Marin Cilic, who advanced without hitting a shot after his third-round opponent Milos Raonic was forced into yet another injury withdrawal.

Another blockbuster quarter-final clash sees fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov take on sixth seed David Goffin, while third seed Alexander Zverev faces the last Frenchman standing, Richard Gasquet.