The day of upsets at the Monte Carlo Masters continued as third seed and former champion Stan Wawrinka was knocked out in the round of 16 by Pablo Cuevas on Thursday. The 16th seed beat the Swiss 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets to advance to the quarter-finals. This was the 31-year-old Uruguayan’s first win over a Top 4 player.
Wawrinka looked off-colour throughout the match and was unable to make a comeback after being broken in early. The World No 3, who won the title at Monte Carlo in 2014 beating compatriot Roger Federer in the final, lost his opening serve in both sets. The third seed also failed to convert a break point opportunity on the Cuevas serve.
Cuevas is known to be a clay court specialist. Ranked 27th in the world, he has already won a clay court title in 2017 at the Brasil Open, beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who incidentally shocked World No 1 Andy Murray earlier in the day at Monte Carlo.
Cuevas will now take on Frenchman Lucas Pouille for a place in the semi-finals. The 11th seed reached the quarters after Adrian Mannarino retired during the match. Pouille had earlier beaten Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-4.
The Swiss had struggled to beat Jiri Vesely in his first match on Wednesday as well, winning the three-setter 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Wawrinka, who was the runner up at Indian Wells, had failed to reach the quarter-final at the Miami Open as well, falling to Alexander Zverev.