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Marin Cilic advances to R3 — Monte-Carlo Masters

22 Abril 2018, 02:10 | Cornelio Vivanco

Marin Cilic advances to R3 — Monte-Carlo Masters

Five players to watch during the clay-court season

The world number five has often found life difficult on clay, having never reached the second week of the French Open.

The Serb's backhand faltered at crucial moments as Thiem chalked up back-to-back victories over him following their French Open quarter-final last year.

Djokovic, playing only his fourth tournament since Wimbledon last July after struggling with a right elbow injury, overcame some late nerves to win 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 in the second-round clash. He looks healthy, he's in good form and has dominated up to this point.

BC-TEN-Monte Carlo Masters, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 513 Djokovic loses Dominic Thiem at Monte Carlo MastersEds: Updates throughout. It was a great win.


Nadal is making his return in Monte Carlo from a hip injury that saw him retire from the Australian Open. Now, each man had to work hard against tough opponents. This month, he stopped working with Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek, the latest in a series of coaching changes for the 12-time major champion. He will also be able to hurt the Austrian with his groundstrokes.

"I'm lacking matches. That's why it's important for me to play, to use every opportunity possible", he said.

There is no doubting, though, which was the match of the day for the fortunate ticket-holders on Wednesday.

Ramos-Vinolas, who lost in last year's final, beat Jared Donaldson 6-3, 6-3.


Dimitrov looked out of sorts in the first set, dropping his serve twice against the 82nd-ranked Herbert.

Thiem fought back from a set down to pull off a 5-7 7-5 7-5 win over Russia's Andrey Rublev in an intense battle that lasted two hours and 40 minutes. The Spaniard is unquestionably the best mover on the clay currently playing and his court coverage will pose Thiem a real problem.

In the seventh game, Ćorić broke Djokovic's service, which he also repeated in the 11th game.

The 20-year-old, who won two Masters titles last season, became frustrated in the second set but battled through 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Donaldson ranted at the chair umpire over a line call and squared up to him as he continued to argue. The Nadal forehand is a formidable weapon and his backhand isn't far behind, allowing Nadal to dominate from the baseline. Instead of giving him break point, it gave Zverev a second match point. He hasn't so much as played the event in six years. "I finished the match with some swelling and I thought through treatment it would be better, but I had more pain today". It was not an easy win for Thiem but it was without a doubt entertaining for those watching. Nadal has won the title 10 times. That's all. Try to be positive always about all the challenges that happened to me in that way.




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