May 24, 2019
Latest News

Nadal earns his 70th win at Monte Carlo, accompanies Djokovic to quarters

Roquebrune Cap Martin, France, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Spain tennis great Rafael Nadal, ranked No. 2 in the world, on Thursday staged yet another display of strength to prevail 6-4, 6-1 over Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters for his 70th victory at the clay-court tourney in the French commune of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

With a powerful serve and variable forehands, Nadal executed a simple but effective strategy: attack Dimitrov's one-handed backhand relentlessly until he acquired an opportunity to seal the point.

Although Nadal burst out to a 4-1 lead in the first set, he lost the following three games as Dimitrov broke the Spaniard's serve for the first time in the 2019 tournament to draw level at 4-4.

Nadal, however, was in no mood to let the set slip through his fingers as he held his serve for a 5-4 lead and then sealed the first set on Dimitrov's serve.

The balance of the match shifted in favor of Nadal, an 11-time Monte Carlo champion, who wore a flashy blue shirt with white and orange stripes.

Nadal, the winner of the last three Monte Carlo championships, then proceeded to seal the second set 6-1, thus earning his 23rd consecutive set at Monte Carlo and qualifying for the quarterfinals, where he will go up against Guido Pella of Argentina.

Monte Carlo has become Nadal's second favorite tournament after the French Open - the second Grand Slam event of the season, held on clay court - where he has 86 wins to his credit.

Earlier in the day, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia booked a place in the quarterfinals as he defeated Taylor Fritz of the United States 6-3, 6-0.

The 31-year-old Djokovic showed no sign of the doubt that emerged in his Monte Carlo opening match on Wednesday against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.

This time Djokovic did not need three sets to advance to the next round although he had never played Fritz before Thursday's match.

Djokovic needed one hour and eight minutes to keep alive his bid for a third tournament win, having taken home the 2013 and 2015 titles.

A 15-time Grand Slam champion, Djokovic is set to make his ninth quarterfinals appearance in his 13th participation in the tournament.

With a semifinal berth hanging in the balance, Djokovic will take on 10th seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia, who defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-2, 1-6 and 6-4.

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