Monte Carlo – 1R

The first out of three ‘Masters 1000’ tournaments on clay began without the hottest player on the tour Novak Djokovic. The Serb withdrew due to knee problems, but maybe it wasn’t the main reason. He is going to play in his home tournament in Belgrade and perhaps wants to win easily the title there to extend his winning streak before a hypothetical clash with Rafael Nadal in Madrid. During the absence of Djokovic, the Spaniard is actually a 100% favorite to get the title at Monte Carlo. Nadal won this tournament six consecutive years – which is an Open era record – last year outclassing all opponents. “Winning the tournament without losing a set was the turning point of the season,” Nadal said, “Very difficult thing to happen two years in a row. It’s very difficult to imagine something like this.”
The most interesting matches in the first round  occurred on Court des Princes (the second biggest arena at Monte Carlo). Radek Stepanek [70] fell on the ground trying to chase the ball in the last point of the 11th game of the final set against Marcos Baghdatis [26]. The Czech suffered a bleeding right hand but held his serve to get the final set tie-break in which trailed 0:3*, 1:4, 4:5, 5:6* & 6:7. He managed to fight off two match points and sealed a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(7) victory with a high forehand volley. 32-year-old Stepanek had never won such a long deciding set tie-break before… Jarkko Nieminen [59] led in the 3rd set of his match against Julien Benneteau [79] with a double break (4:1), was two points away from victory at 5:3 and 5:4, but found himself at *5:6 (15-40). He saved the first match point with an ace, the second with a baseline winner and another two match points at the net (forehand half-volley directly after the serve, forehand volley after a quite long rally). Nieminen won 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3), notching the 12th tour win saving at least one match point (#only four active players won more matches in these circumstances). Also Olivier Rochus won his match facing four match points (on return) against Juan Ignacio Chela – the longest first-round battle, 3 hours 5 minutes. The shortest player on the tour has won 10 battles being a match point down…

# Active players with the most match point-down wins:
15 –  Juan Carlos Ferrero
14 –  Ivo Karlovic
13 –  Fernando Gonzalez
12 –  Andy Roddick, Jarkko Nieminen
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3 Responses to Monte Carlo – 1R

  1. David says:

    What’s the record with all players??? (active and non active) Thanks

  2. Voo de Mar says:

    I’d love to know David 😛 Unfortunately I’ve been keeping this stats only since 1998 :/ I did some research concerning years before ’98 but it’s really tough for me to say how many matches of this kind won this or that player who finished his career in the 90’s. Among players who were born in 1970 and onwards, I’d say that probably Nicolas Lapentti, Rusedski and Ivanisevic won the most – 16 each of them.

  3. Voo de Mar says:

    But you know, it’s possible that Rusedski and Ivanisevic won more, I’m pretty convinced that Ferrero couldn’t win more than 15…

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