Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 2014: Daily Scores, Results and Schedule
With the 2014 French Open a little over a month away, the stars of the ATP Tour descended upon Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, for the next step in the clay-court season—the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
Novak Djokovic entered as the defending champion. He ended Rafael Nadal's eight-year reign as king of the Monte Carlo Country Club.
The No. 2 player in the world called last year's title "one of the highlights of my career," due in part to the fact that his family came out in droves to see him play, per the Associated Press, via ESPN.com. Perhaps that home-court advantage helps to level the playing field against one of the best clay-court players in the history of the sport.
As if revenge from last year won't be enough of a motivating factor for Nadal, he'll also likely think back to his straight-sets loss to Djokovic at the Sony Open back in March. In fact, going back to last year, Rafa has dropped three straight to his main rival. He shared his thoughts on the matter (via ESPN.com):
Sure it always affects (you) but I hope to (be) ready to be back and compete on clay. In Miami I didn't play my best level in the final. I didn't compete well enough. I wasn't ready yet to play that match and he played great, but I didn't push him.
Although the field for the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters is littered with some of the biggest names in men's tennis, all signs pointed to this year's final being the next chapter in the rivalry between Djokovic and Nadal.
But it would be the most recent Grand Slam winner in Stanislas Wawrinka rising above the field to take the this Masters singles title. Read on to find how how it all unfolded in what was an unforgettable tournament overall and an excellent final battle between Wawrinka and his prolific compatriot, Roger Federer.
*Click here to view the daily schedule for the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
*Click here to view the updated draw for the men's singles competition.
Day 7 Recap
No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka def. No. 4 Roger Federer; 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2
No. 1 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan def. No. 3 Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo; 6-3, 3-6, 10-8
Both the singles and doubles finals at the 2014 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters unfolded Sunday, and both matches for the top prize lived up to the hype.
An all-Swiss singles showdown saw Stanislas Wawrinka stay patient after losing the first set, win a second-set tiebreaker and then dominate the decisive set in winning his first Masters title over superstar Roger Federer. In winning the Australian Open earlier this season, it appeared that Wawrinka gained the mental strength necessary to elevate himself into the premier class of men's tennis.
A letdown of sorts ensued since Wawrinka's triumph in Melbourne, but Sunday was the culmination of hard work to get back to playing at such a high level. According to Jose Meiseles of ATPWorldTour.com, Wawrinka is now 6-0 versus the top 10 in the world in 2014.
The brothers Bob and Mike Bryan continued to reign supreme as one of the dominant duos in the modern era, splitting the first two sets with Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo before outlasting their adversaries in a 10-8 final set. Per ATP World Tour on Twitter, this marks the 100th title for the Bryans.
There's still over a month before the second Grand Slam event of the year gets underway at Roland Garros in the French Open, but both of these triumphs by Wawrinka and the Bryans could be a sign of what's to come.
Wawrinka is proving to be undaunted by the big stage, and that his game is malleable to all surfaces. Controlled aggression and calculated risk-taking on his groundstrokes has made a big difference, as has his overall fortitude and confidence. Having posted a career-best quarterfinal result last year, perhaps Wawrinka could contend for a second straight major title based on his clay-court performance at Monte Carlo Country Club.
Since the Bryans are so experienced and have won all four majors multiple times, this is just the latest in a long line of accolades. However, they did flash exceptional form on clay, and the French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament they haven't won at least three times. If this form on the surface is any indication, they should be favorites to take the doubles crown at Roland Garros in early June.
Day 6 Recap
No. 4 Roger Federer def. No. 2 Novak Djkokovic; 7-5, 6-2
No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka def. No. 6 David Ferrer; 6-1, 7-6 (3)
No. 1 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan def. No. 5 Daniel Nestor/Nenad Zimonjic; 7-6(5), 6-3
No. 3 Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo def. Max Mirnyi/Mikhail Youzhny; 6-3, 1-6, 10-6
Roger Federer is headed to his first final at the Monte Carlo Masters since 2008 after shockingly moving past Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2.
Perhaps it wasn't such a surprise, as Federer has been playing lights out as of late and now moves to 2-1 against Djokovic this season. In the first set he managed to save two set points at 4-5 before serving out the set for a convincing win.
For Djokovic, a nagging injury caused him quite the issue as the match progressed, per the Associated Press, via Sports Illustrated:
It's unfortunate that when you're playing at this level against Roger, big tournament, that you are not able to play your game because something else is taking away all your energy and effort. This injury has been present for last 10 days, and I tried not to think or talk about it. I did everything I could really, I was on the medications every day, I was doing different therapies, injections.
The win took just 74 minutes. It marks Federer's first win over Djokovic on clay since 2011 and his appearance in the final will mark his 11th try for a title that has eluded him to this point.
To grab that title he'll have to move past Stanislas Wawrinka, who notched a convincing victory despite 40 unforced errors. A 31-8 advantage in the winners department will do that for a player.
In doubles action, Bob and Mike Bryan once again breezed past the competition and got another semblance of revenge for last year's title loss after two straight thanks to the win over Nenad Zimonjic, who took the court with Daniel Nestor.
The duo of Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo await in the final.
Day 5 Recap
No. 6 David Ferrer def. No. 1 Rafael Nadal; 7-6(1), 6-4
No. 2 Novak Djkokovic def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez; 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka def. No. 8 Milos Raonic; 7-6(5), 6-2
No. 4 Roger Federer def. No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1
No. 1 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan def. No. 8 Julien Benneteau/Edouard Roger-Vasselin; 6-1, 6-2
Max Mirnyi/Mikhail Youzhny def. No. 2 Alexander Peya/Bruno Soares; 7-6(5), 3-6, 11-9
No. 3 Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo def. Rohan Bopanna/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi; 7-6(4), 7-5
No. 5 Daniel Nestor/Nenad Zimonjic def. Romain Arneodo/Benjamin Balleret; 6-4, 6-3
Things got interesting early on in the singles competition as No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal was defeated by Spanish compatriot David Ferrer.
Nadal entered the tournament as the overwhelming favorite thanks to his skill on clay. However, Ferrer showed that he is just as good on the surface last year when he went all the way to the finals at Roland Garros. This time, however, he was able to beat Nadal in two close sets.
Nadal had this to say after his defeat, via ATPTour.com:
Losing hurts everywhere. On clay always a little bit more. I am not happy today about what I did. Not very happy about the way that I played the second set after losing the first. I didn't play with the right intensity at the beginning of the second. I give him big opportunity at the beginning of the second. I cannot do that.
On the other hand, Ferrer instantly becomes one of the favorites to win this tournament thanks to his skill on clay.
No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka had little trouble getting past No. 8 Milos Raonic, but the same could not be said about either No. 2 Novak Djokovic or No. 4 Roger Federer.
Federer dropped his first set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and appeared as though he was going to be able to pull out a win. Through two sets, Tsonga had saved all 13 of his break points.
However, the Swiss star was able to win the tiebreak, which seemed to deflate Tsonga since he was not the same after. Federer cruised in the third set for a 6-1 victory to move into the semifinals.
Djokovic had similar trouble in the first set against heavy underdog Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Garcia-Lopez took advantage of both break points early on and surprisingly won the first set. Considering Djokovic had only dropped two games in his first two matches, this was quite a shock.
Of course, this lead did not last long as the No. 2 seed looked better with his serve to win the second set. By the third set, Djokovic was completely dominant and won easily.
Federer will now face DJokovic in the semifinals and both sides will hope for better starts in that match.
In the doubles bracket, Bob and Mike Bryan avenged half of their finals loss from last year. After winning two titles in a row at the Monte-Carlo Masters, the brothers were defeated by Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic in the 2013 finals.
On Friday, they easily defeated Benneteau, who was playing with Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The Bryan's will now have a chance to knock off Zimonjic in the semifinals after he and Daniel Nestor earned an easy quarterfinal win as well.
Meanwhile, Max Mirnyi and Mikhail Youzhny pulled off a pretty big upset over No. 2 Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares. The match went to a tiebreaker, but some impressive serving helped Mirnyi and Youzhny advance.
They will now face Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo after the pair won two tiebreakers for a close straight-set victory.
Day 4 Recap
No. 1 Rafael Nadal def. Andreas Seppi, 6-1, 6-3
No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. No. 10 Fabio Fognini, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0
No. 2 Novak Djokovic def. Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-0, 6-1
No. 4 Roger Federer def. Lukas Rosol, 6-4, 6-1
No. 8 Milos Raonic def. No. 11 Tommy Robredo, 6-4, 6-3
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez def. No. 5 Tomas Berdych, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
No. 6 David Ferrer def. No. 12 Grigor Dimitrov, 6-4, 6-2
No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka def. No. 15 Nicolas Almagro, walkthrough
Romain Arneodo/Benjamin Balleret def. Roberto Bautista Agut/Andreas Sepp, 6-4, 3-6, 11-9
Max Mirnyi/Mikhail Youzhny def. No. 6 Michael Llodra/Nicolas Mahut, 7-6(4), 6-4
No. 5 Daniel Nestor/Nenad Zimonjic def. Maiusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski, 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 10-7
No. 2 Alexander Pena/Bruno Soares def. Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini, 6-2, 6-3
No. 8 Julien Benneteau/Edouard Roger-Vasselin def. Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah, 6-4, 5-7, 10-4
Many of the favorites held court on Thursday afternoon, but one top seed would fall in dramatic fashion.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez came into Round 3 with little chance of advancing past No. 5 Tomas Berdych, and after a 6-4 win in the first set for Berdych it looked like Garcia-Lopez would be ousted.
What wold follow was a huge second set by Garcia-Lopez, who broke serve to pull of a 6-3 win with a consistent approach. The veteran Spanish player wasn't overpowering, but did enough in the third set to claim a 6-1 win and advance to the quarterfinals.
Tennis TV captures a great moment from the finish of the match along with the result. Prior to the match, Berdych spoke about how he believes he can become the fifth power player in the game, per Donald McRae of The Guardian:
And now there is more of a chance. It's extremely tough but if it becomes reality that one day I lift a big trophy it's going to be worth five of them. The feeling will be even more special. I think I can win a slam. That's my main goal and if I could choose one then, yes, it would have to be Wimbledon. But, honestly, I would take any one of them.
Berdych might want to focus on defeating lesser opponents before getting ahead of himself.
As for the actual powers in the men's game, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer advanced easily into the quarters. Stanislas Wawrinka, the Australian Open winner, got through to the next round after Nicolas Almagro was forced to forfeit due to injury, according to Tennis Now.
On the doubles side, the only upset came from Max Mirnyi and Mikhail Youzhny over No. 6 Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut. The duo outdueled the No. 6 seed despite having three double faults in the first set and being overpowered in the service game.
Three matches also went to three sets, with two other top seeds in No. 5 Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic along with No. 8 Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin both being tested.
Moving forward, Wawrinka won't have things quite as easy in the quarterfinals against Nadal. With the match serving as a rematch from the final of the Aussie Open, expect the intensity to be at an all-time high between the two elite players.
On the other side of the bracket, Djokovic and Federer will face off yet again in a matchup between two of the best players in the world. And with the news that Federer might miss the French Open due to the birth of his child, this could be a matchup that won't be seen until later in the year.
Day 3 Recap
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeats Alexandr Dolgopolov (17); 6-1, 7-5
Rafael Nadal (1) defeats Teymuraz Gabashvili; 6-4, 6-1
Fabio Fognini (10) defeats Roberto Bautista-Agut; 7-6 (6), 6-4
Stanislas Wawrinka (3) defeats Marin Cilic; 6-0, 6-2
Roger Federer (4) defeats Radek Stepanek; 6-1, 6-2
Grigor Dimitrov (12) defeats Albert Ramos; 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Milos Raonic (8) defeats Yen-Hsun Lu; 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1
Tommy Robredo (11) defeats Julien Benneteau; 4-6, 6-0, 6-1
Pablo Carreno Busta defeats Gael Monfils; 6-3, 7-6 (6)
Lukas Rosol defeats Michael Llodra; 6-4, 6-4
Nicolas Almagro (15) defeats Nicolas Mahut; 7-6 (3), 6-3
Andreas Seppi defeats Pablo Andujar; 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-4
After Tuesday's action left a series of semi-upsets in its wake, a state of normalcy washed over Day 3 at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. The only upset in the field was a minor one, with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez taking care of 17th-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets.
Otherwise, it seems like we're going to have to wait for excitement to be injected into the clay-court season.
Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka advanced in straight sets, with only one of them losing more than two games in an individual set. Nadal nonetheless rampaged through Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-1, though it wasn't all pleasantries for the world's top-ranked player. After a long rally in the second set, Nadal was given a time violation when he took too long between points.
“Put the watch there [pointing on court] and then you don’t have to do nothing, Pascal,” Nadal said, per Sports Illustrated.
The rest of the match went off largely without a hitch. Nadal has been a vocal opponent of strict time limits being imposed between points, noting it fosters exhaustion—particularly following long points. It will be interesting to see how Nadal handles similar situations the rest of the tournament if officials are going to call the rule by the letter of the law.
Wawrinka and Federer looked similarly dominant in their wins over Marin Cilic and Stepanek. The pair are both in fine form overall and should be a formidable force on the clay-court stage. Nadal quietly has stiffer competition on his favorite surface this year compared to last.
The day's most exciting matches came featuring largely unheralded talents. Andreas Seppi and Pablo Andujar went through a grueling three-set slugfest, as the 30-year-old Italian pulled off a critical break in the last set to advance. Seppi, who last won on tour in October 2012, defeated 13th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny in the first round.
Elsewhere Grigor Dimitrov came back from an opening-set disappointment to win the final two against Albert Ramos.
Day 2 Recap
Tomas Berdych (5) def. Dmitry Tursunov; 7-5, 6-4
Grigor Dimitrov (12) def. Marcel Granollers; 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
Andreas Seppi def. Mikhail Youzhny (13); 6-3, 7-6 (4)
Gael Monfils def. Kevin Anderson (14); 6-4, 7-6 (4)
Nicolas Almagro (15) def. Paul-Henri Mathieu; 6-3, 6-2
Michael Llodra def. Jerzy Janowicz (16); 6-4, 6-2
Teymuraz Gabashvili def. Gilles Simon; 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Julien Benneteau def. Jurgen Melzer; 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Marin Cilic def. Marinko Matosevic; 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
Pablo Carreno Busta def. Ivan Dodig; 6-3, 6-3
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez def. Benjamin Balleret; 7-5, 6-2
Yen-Hsun Lu def. Federico Delbonis; 7-6 (5), 6-1
Novak Djokovic (2) def. Albert Montanes; 6-1, 6-0
David Ferrer (6) def. Jeremy Chardy; 6-3, 6-0
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (9) def. Philipp Kohlschreiber; 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
There was plenty of excitement during Tuesday's Monte-Carlo Masters action, with some of the game's biggest names taking to the clay courts in France.
Novak Djokovic headlined the marquee quartet of top 10 seeds, putting together a flawless performance in easily advancing past Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-0 in the second round. Sixth-seeded David Ferrer also won the second set at love in cruising to a victory over Jeremy Chardy.
Known for his inconsistency but also his talent, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga dropped the second set to Philipp Kohlschreiber but pleased the local crowds by pulling off a win in three sets.
Tomas Berdych was still trying to advance past the first round on Day 2, which he did in two close sets over Dmitry Tursunov. There were also a fair share of upsets in the opening round, though, as three teen seeds fell in surprising fashion.
Andreas Seppi was forced to a second-set tiebreaker by No. 13 Mikhail Youzhny but prevailed 7-4 in those extra games to advance. Former top-10 singles player Gael Monfils flashed great form as perhaps the most expected underdog to win, thriving in his native land and knocking off 14th-seeded Kevin Anderson.
The struggles continued for Jerzy Janowicz, a 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist who was hapless in a 6-4, 6-2 loss to Michael Llodra.
Two other seeded players advanced, one being Nicolas Almagro (15). The Spaniard dropped just five games total in a triumph over Paul-Henri Mathieu. Despite a valiant effort, it looked as though Marcel Granollers was drained from reaching last week's final as he fell to 12th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov by a score of 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
There were three other matches that went the full three sets, as Julien Benneteau, Marin Cilic and Teymuraz Gabashvili all survived early stern tests.
Perhaps the most exciting development looking forward is how Djokovic continues to play at an elite level. Having won the past two titles, with the last coming over Rafael Nadal in Miami, Djokovic seems reinvigorated amid his recent stretch of strong play. Nadal is the King of Clay, but Djokovic is as much of a threat as ever now to build momentum ahead of the French Open and try to win the final leg of the career Grand Slam.
Gabashvili will have to be prepared for a quick turnaround for Wednesday's clash with Nadal after beating Gilles Simon. Also featured on Day 3 will be Roger Federer and reigning Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka. That loaded lineup promises to keep the entertainment strong even in the early stages of the Monte-Carlos Masters tournament.
Day 1 Recap
R. Stepanek def. I. Karlovic; 6-1, 6-2
F. Fognini (10) def. J. Sousa; 5-7, 7-5, 6-4
P. Andujar def. E. Roger-Vasselin; 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(5)
T. Robredo (11) def. D. Goffin; 6-4, 6-1
P. Kohlschreiber def. S. Bolelli; 6-3, 6-4
R. Bautista-Agut def. V. Pospisil; 6-2, 6-2
A. Montanes def. B. Paire; 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
A. Ramos def. J. Nieminen; 6-2, 7-5
L. Rosol def. E. Donskoy; 7-5, 6-1
It was a rather ordinary day in Monday's first-round action at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Only two seeded players—No. 10 Fabio Fognini and No. 11 Tommy Robredo—were in action, both of whom won.
That's not to say that Fognini didn't have his hands full. Joao Sousa was two points away from notching what would have been the first major upset of the tournament in the second set. The 26-year-old Italian pulled through, though, winning 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
After the match, Fognini said he wasn't sure how he pulled out the win, per Sky Sports:
"It was a difficult match. The first match is always difficult," he added. "It's like playing at home for me—I was born really close to Monte Carlo. I survived and I'm through to the second round."
Fognini undoubtedly pulled a great escape act on Monday, but he'll have to play much better in the next rounds if he wants to build some momentum ahead of next month's French Open.