Monte Carlo Masters: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal blossom

Updated: Apr 19, 2019, 12:43 IST | AFP | Monte Carlo

Djokovic, Nadal register dominating wins to storm into quarter-finals

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates his Round-of-16 win over USA's Taylor Fritz in the Monte Carlo Masters yesterday
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates his Round-of-16 win over USA's Taylor Fritz in the Monte Carlo Masters yesterday

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.

'Challenging conditions'
"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
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.

'Great achievement'
"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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