Novak Djokovic produced another promising performance to beat a battling Borna Coric in straight sets and move into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters, but spurned nine match points before eventually sealing victory.
The former world number one said he was playing without pain for the first time in two years after thrashing Dusan Lajovic in the first round on Monday.
That triumph was the 12-time grand slam champion's first since the Australian Open in January and he followed it up with a 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 triumph over Coric to set up a clash with Dominic Thiem.
Djokovic, who recruited former coach Marian Vajda last week, looked sharp with stoic defence and his forehand firing on Court Rainier III, and kept his composure even as Coric kept the contest alive by repeatedly saving match points.
The ninth seed from Serbia, a two-time champion in Monaco, saved a break point in an opening game that lasted eight minutes and took a 3-1 lead when his 39th-ranked opponent made a mess of an overhead.
Djokovic was in the groove, unleashing rasping forehand and backhand winners as he opened up a 4-1 lead, but his 21-year-old opponent was back on serve when the favourite fired a backhand wide.
Coric spurned a great chance to go a break up at 6-5 when he drilled a backhand beyond the baseline and paid the price for an error-strewn tie-break, which was comfortably won by Djokovic.
There were three breaks in a row at the start of the second set, Djokovic taking a 2-1 lead after winning five consecutive points.
Coric looked beaten at 40-0 down with Djokovic on the verge of serving it out, but after saving two match points in the previous game, the defiant Indian Wells semi-finalist fended off another seven before breaking back.
Djokovic hit back immediately, though, Coric thudding a backhand into the net to go 6-5 down. Another stray backhand from the Zagreb native finally ended the contest after two hours and 15 minutes.
|Scotland call up four as hand injury forces Watson out|
|Serena comes through major Halep battle to reach last eight|
|Better than Rafa? Camacho cameo leaves Klopp unconvinced by transfer options|
|England job ´a privileged position´, says Southgate|
|Emery has confidence in Arsenal outcast Ozil|
|Zverev destroys racquet in Aus Open meltdown|
|From Villarreal to Aus Open quarters – Bautista Agut breaks major duck|
|Brees: I plan on being here next year and making another run at it|
|´Unf******-believable bro!´ - Brady stunned after reaching third straight Super Bowl|
|New England find answers, penalty costs Kansas City – three takeaways from Patriots´ win over Chiefs|
|Donald Trump congratulates Brady and Super Bowl-bound Patriots|
|Rose helps Timberwolves down Suns|
|Brady leads Patriots into third straight Super Bowl|
|Osaka overcomes Sevastova to reach quarters|
|Chelsea remain behind Sarri – David Luiz|
|McVay explains Gurley´s limited role in Rams´ win over Saints|
|Southgate hails ´tremendous talent´ Rashford|
|Long earns maiden PGA Tour win at Desert Classic|
|Flanagan resigns as Sharks head coach|
|Rams´ Robey-Coleman admits he committed penalty on controversial no-call|
|NFL admits they blew the call – Saints coach Payton|
|Terrible no-call, Goff shines – three takeaways from Rams´ win over Saints|
|Lonzo Ball to miss 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain|
|Patterson added to Australia Test squad|
|Zuerlein´s overtime kick sinks Saints and sends Rams to Super Bowl|
|It was a clear goal – Valverde dismisses Barca VAR controversy|
|Rashford can emulate Man United greats Ronaldo and Rooney – Solskjaer|
|Karmichael Hunt swaps Reds for Waratahs|
|Barcelona forward Dembele set for tests on sprained ankle|
|Neymar insists Barcelona and Real Madrid links not ´concrete´|
|England trio Nowell, Slade and Cowan-Dickie sign fresh Exeter deals|
|Windies coach Pybus not distracted by detractors|
|Barcelona 3 Leganes 1: Messi and Suarez combine to spare Barca´s blushes|
|I´m sure Michael would be extremely proud - Vettel hails Mick Schumacher|
|Young plays down injury fears for England trio Launchbury, Shields and Hughes|
|Pochettino: Lucas Moura fit for Chelsea clash|
|Ranieri positive on Fulham survival chances despite ´unbelievable´ Spurs loss|
|United Arab Emirates v Kyrgyzstan: Zaccheroni confident in attack|
|South Korea lose Ki to hamstring injury|
|It doesn´t look great - Pochettino to wait on Alli assessment|
|Messi benched as Barcelona face Leganes|
|Dalglish texts me before matches - Van Dijk|
|Patrick Mahomes could sign NFL´s first $200m contract - reports|
|Iran 2 Oman 0: Jahanbakhsh and Dejagah secure last-eight spot|
|Helloooo u remember me? Nkoudou reminds Spurs fans he exists|
|Japan v Saudi Arabia: Pizzi believes Saudis can upset the odds|
|Repsol Honda´s Lorenzo to have surgery on fractured wrist|
|Fulham 1 Tottenham 2: Winks heads late winner after Alli injury|
|Leinster seal home quarter-final with win over Wasps|
|Vince, Curran star as Sixers trounce Heat to move second|
|Sharapova stunned by Barty as Kvitova takes Anisimova to school|
|Guardiola demands improvement after Man City win|
|Sexton has bat phone to referees - Jones|
|Alonso accepts Chelsea guilty of ´silly mistakes´ in Arsenal defeat|
|Guardiola woke us up - Sane reveals half-time rocket for Man City|
|A first step to something bigger - Tsitsipas eyeing glory after shocking Federer|
|Thailand 1 China 2: Gao Lin keeps dream alive for Lippi|
|Tsitsipas in dreamland after ousting Federer, birthday boy Tiafoe breaks new ground|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester City 3: Danilo, Sterling and Sane on target for ton-up City|
|Allegri: Khedira will be like a new signing for Juventus|
|Manchester City reach 100 goals in 2018-19|
|Australia v Uzbekistan: Leckie´s return is ´like a new signing´, says Arnold|
|Jordan 1 Vietnam 1 (aet, 2-4 on penalties): Keeper Van Lam the shoot-out hero|
|Federer confirms French Open return after Melbourne exit|
|I accept his decision - Gattuso axes Chelsea-bound Higuain|
|The rapid rise of Federer-conqueror Tsitsipas|
|Gracious Federer hails ´better player´ Tsitsipas after Australian Open exit|
|Tsitsipas ´happiest man on earth´ after stunning Federer|
|Harden focused on wins, not personal feats after scoring 48 points|
|PSG midfielder Verratti suffers sprained ankle|