Monte Carlo Masters: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic make winning starts

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal made winning starts in the Monte Carlo Masters, with both returning from long breaks.

Rafael Nadal in action. (Image: Twitter/@ATPtour)

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal made winning starts in the Monte Carlo Masters, with both returning from long breaks. Djokovic crusied to a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 win over rising prospect Jannik Sinner. Nadal, who is an 11-time champion at the Country Club, beat Federico Delbonis 6-1, 6-2. Both Nadal and Djokovic had taken time off from the sport after the Australian Open. It was Djokovic who emerged victorious in that particular Grand Slam, claiming a record-extending ninth title in February.

Sinner had the opportunity to provide a tricky test to the top-ranked Djokovic. However, the Serbian looked at ease on court and booked his place in the third round, thus improving his unbeaten record this season to 10-0.

“It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match, a big challenge for me. I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time,” Djokovic said after the match.

He will next face Daniel Evans in round three, who beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-1 to book his spot in the round.

Meanwhile Nadal, taking on Argentine qualifier Delbonis, saved four of the five break points he faced. The Spaniard never seemed likely to lose control and registered a routine win. He will face Grigor Dimitrov in the next round.

“I think I just really played a solid match. Nothing unbelievable, but nothing wrong. Just a solid match, a positive start,” he said afterwards.

Fognini, Tsitsipas also advance

Defending champion Fabio Fognini also advanced to the third round, beating Jordan Thompson 6-3, 6-3. Fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas progressed with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

Alexander Zverev defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-3. Also, Casper Ruud earned his second top-10 victory with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over ninth-seeded Diego Schwartzman.

The Monte Carlo Masters is taking place behind closed doors with no fans allowed this year. The tournament was called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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