Stefanos Tsitsipas made a winning start to the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday after the world No 5 cruised past Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4 and into the last 16.
Greek Tsitsipas, who had been given a bye into the second round, took just one hour and 24 minutes to beat 29th-ranked Russian Karatsev. The 22-year-old exploited a whopping 32 unforced errors from Karatsev to set up a clash with either Australian John Millman or Chile’s Cristian Garin.
Novak Djokovic meanwhile will face Jannik Sinner in his second round match after the up-and-coming Italian saw off Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
Teenager Sinner has risen to 22nd in the world rankings after reaching the final of the Miami Open earlier this month.
“I will definitely have a game plan,” Sinner said of what will be his first meeting with Djokovic.
“I know who is on the other side. Obviously it’s a tough match I think from my side, because I don’t know him that well. I have seen him a lot on TV, watching matches. But when you play against him in a match, it’s different. I’m looking forward to that match.”
Sinner, one of five Italians to reach the second round Tuesday in Monte Carlo, is 15-5 this year but is competing in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event for just the fourth time.
“It’s a good test for my side to see where I am, especially where I can improve,” he added. “I know where I can improve, but this kind of match can give me a lot. I just try to go there with the right mentality like in every match.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Daniil Medvedev pulled out of the tournament after testing positive for Covid-19. World No 2 Medvedev tested positive on Monday having practised with Rafael Nadal the day before.
Organisers, contacted by AFP, declined to comment on whether third seed Nadal risked being identified as a ‘close contact’ of Medvedev and forced to quarantine.
Nadal is seeded to meet Djokovic in the final as he chases a 12th triumph in Monte Carlo, a key clay court tournament in the run up to the French Open
Jannik Sinner (ITA) bt Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 6-3, 6-4
Dan Evans (GBR) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-3, 6-7 (11/13), 6-2
Hubert Hurkacz (POL x13) bt Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Marco Cecchinato (ITA) bt Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-4, 6-3
Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) bt Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-3, 6-4
Cristian Garin (CHI x16) bt Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 7-6 (7/3), 6-1
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Pablo Andujar (ESP) 0-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)
Lucas Pouille (FRA) bt Guido Pella (ARG) 6-3, 6-4
Salvatore Caruso (ITA) bt Lucas Catarina (MON) 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x9) bt Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-2, 7-5
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x14) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-3, 6-4
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-4, 0-6, 7-5
Federico Delbonis (ARG) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-5, 6-1
Casper Ruud (NOR) bt Holger Rune (DEN) 6-2, 6-1
Karen Khachanov (RUS) bt Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-4, 6-1
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x12) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)
Fabio Fognini (ITA x15) bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-2, 7-5
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) bt Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-1, 2-0 - retired
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x4) bt Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 6-3, 6-4
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) bt Matteo Berrettini (ITA x8) 7-5, 6-3