Monte Carlo – 2R

Rafael Nadal [1] began his quest for a record seventh straight Monte Carlo-Masters title with an easy win (2 & 2) over Jarkko Nieminen and improved to a 35-1 event record. Two out of the most probable Nadal’s opponents in the final, David Ferrer and Roger Federer dropped even less games in their opening matches, 2 and 3 respectively.
Gael Monfils [10] made a successful comeback to the tour after a left wrist injury which eliminated him from two Masters tournaments in the United States. The Frenchman beat 7-5, 6-2 Daniel Gimeno-Traver [61], the first set consisted of five breaks of serve. “I wasn’t impressed by my game, but it was nice playing on centre court, though a bit strange for a start,” said Monfils. In the longest second round clash (exactly 3 hours), Nicolas Almagro [12] improved his clay-court record this year to 15-1 after an unexpectedly tight battle with Maximo Gonzalez [93]. Almagro saved a triple match point on serve at 4:5 in the 3rd set and saved another match point at 7:8* in the tie-break. The Spaniard survived a 6-7(6), 7-5, 7-6(10) scare, he has won 6 out of the last 7 matches in which was forced to play a deciding tie-break set and great outlook to advance to the Top 10 for the first time in career next Monday. Andy Murray [4] outplayed Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-4 breaking the career-worst losing streak of 4 defeats (0-9 in sets). The youngest player in the main draw Milos Raonic [34] squandered a triple match point serving for the match against Ernests Gulbis [30], but kept his nerves and broke the Latvian to ‘love’ in the following game to win the match 6-4, 7-5, finishing the contest with an ace (his seventh). It is the first main tour event on clay and the first one in Europe for the 20-year-old Canadian, who is without a doubt the biggest revelation of the season.

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