Monte Carlo Masters: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal blossom
Djokovic, Nadal register dominating wins to storm into quarter-finals
Top seed Novak Djokovic and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal showed no mercy in dominating wins to power into the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals yesterday. Djokovic extended his winning streak against US players with a 6-3, 6-0 defeat of Taylor Fritz. The two-time tournament champion has now won nine in a row over Americans since losing at Wimbledon in 2016 to Sam Querrey.
"It was very challenging to play in these [windy] conditions," Djokovic said. "Taylor just flattens the ball. We had five, six close games in the first set, I just managed to break his resistance midway through. After that, things went on my side and I felt more comfortable. It was one of those days where you just have to hang in there and try to put an extra ball back in the court - that was enough."
Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in a pre-quarter-final match of the Monte Carlo Masters yesterday. Pics/AFP
Nadal repeated last year's semi-final win over Grigor Dimitrov, beating the Bulgarian for the 12th time, 6-4, 6-1. "I'm very, very happy, this is an important victory for me," the second seed said after winning his 23rd consecutive set at the tournament.
"Grigor is a super talent and is very dangerous. It was a positive match for me. I had a good day, I can be happy with what I did on court. When you don't play on clay for almost a year, every win is important for the confidence, especially as I'm coming back from injury."
Earlier, sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas lost 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 as Daniil Medvedev continued his run of form. The Russian will next line up against Djokovic after losing to him in January in the Australian Open fourth round.
"This was a great achievement for me," Medvedev said. "Everything was perfect today. Some wind came up in the second set and I could not get used to it. But in the third, I just worked to put every ball in the court. I was pleased to fight back after going a break down in the third set."
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