There were no major upsets in Monaco on Wednesday as the big names sailed to the round of 16 of Monte Carlo with minimum fuss.
Second seed Novak Djokovic had booked his place in the next round by holding off Gilles Simon’s stubborn resistance. Today, it was Rafael Nadal’s turn to see off an opponent (Kyle Edmund) who offered plenty of fight despite winning the first set by a 6-0 margin.
The Spanish ace, though, fought back well after losing the second set in a tie-break to coast to a comfortable 6-3 win in the third set and pocket the game. Stanislas Wawrinka laboured to beat Jiri Vesely while top seed Andy Murray overcame a slow start to the game to post a straight-sets win against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.
Fifth seed Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem, seeded sixth also made it through to the next round.
Nadal downs spirited Edmund
The 14-time Grand Slam winner blitzed through his opponent in the first set with a perfect 6-0 win in just 29 minutes. Just when it looked like it was one-way traffic, Edmund took the game to Nadal, forcing a decider.
In the second set, the Briton held his serve with a 6-5 advantage and a poor return from the Spaniard at set-point took the game to the third. Edmund went toe-to-toe with his opponent in the early stages of the third set too. With the score 2-2, Nadal defended a break point and Edmund went on to lose his serve. The 30-year-old then used his experience to cruise to a win.
Murray, who was handed a bye in the first round, meets Albert Ramos-Vinolas next.
Stan stutters, but prevails
Wawrinka set up a meeting with Pablo Cuevas in the next round after beating Vesely 6-2 4-6 6-2 in a match that lasted 84 minutes. The Swiss got off to a rollicking start in the game, racing away to a 3-0 lead in the first game but lost his serve in the fifth game. However, he clinched the first set with minimum fuss.
The 23-year-old Czech pounced on Wawrinka’s failure to convert two break-point opportunities in the second game of the second set, taking the game to the decider. Wawrinka, though, picked up his game in the third set and closed down the game with another 6-2 win. The Spaniard will face young German sensation Alexander Zverev in the next round.
Sluggish Murray does enough to win
Murray made a winning return from post injury but suffered a few hiccups along the way during his 7-5 7-5 win against Gilles Muller.
The World No 1 was broken in the first game by Muller after throwing it away with three double faults. The Scot, for much of the set, came out second best but fought back by saving a break point and fending off two set points.
Murray had to dig deep in the second set too after gifting an early break, and sealed the game in one hour and 55 minutes.