World number one Rafael Nadal started his bid for an 11th Monte Carlo Masters title with a 6-1, 6-3 second-round victory over Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene on Wednesday.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner, like Novak Djokovic, is looking for a record 31st Masters title, and will take on big-hitting Russian Karen Khachanov in the last 16.
Nadal brought up set point in the opener with a trademark, curling forehand up the line, before sealing the set with a drop shot.
Bedene managed to keep the second set on serve for six games, but Nadal broke to lead 4-3 and wrapped up a comfortable victory in the Monaco sunshine with another break as Bedene hit a forehand into the net.
He remains on course for a possible quarter-final showdown with Djokovic, who earlier needed 10 match points to see off Borna Coric.