Thiem should provide a sterner test in the last eight, after the fifth seed came from a set down to beat Djokovic. The former world number four, who has strived over the past year with a right wrist injury, followed up his first-round victory against Tomas Berdych with a solid display on centre court.
Thiem beat Djokovic in straight sets in the French Open quarterfinals a year ago including 6-0 in the third but Djokovic won their other five meetings.
The first game set the tone for the rest of the match, with 12-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic eventually holding on for the win after nine minutes of bruising baseline rallies that included a missed break point for Coric.
However, he was outclassed in the second set and seemed to fade physically in the decider, Thiem claiming his first break point for 4-3 and taking Djokovic's serve again to win after nearly two and a half hours. I'm really happy with the way things are working out right now with the elbow.
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Awaiting Nadal in the next round will be Russian Karen Khachanov after his 6-2 6-2 win against France's Gilles Simon.
Khachanov had to give his serve away already in the opening game and Nadal cemented the lead after another groundstroke error from his young opponent in game five that sent him 4-1 up.
"But it's the ultimate challenge for everybody, to play against him". "I have to play an aggressive tennis, high intensity".
"It wasn't easy, but I found my rhythm in the second and third sets", he said.
"The first set was a real battle, he was playing a little better than me I think at the beginning", said Nishikori.
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Third seed Alexander Zverev came through a three-set tussle with fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff on Thursday to set up a possible Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final with his brother Mischa.
"After two years finally I can play without pain", said Djokovic.
Croatia's Cilic will take on Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals, after the Japanese continued his return to form by beating Italian qualifier Andreas Seppi 6-0, 2-6, 6-3.
Goffin, a semifinalist past year, next plays Grigor Dimitrov after the fourth-seeded Bulgarian beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
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