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Monte Carlo Masters 2021: Djokovic, Nadal Wins Highlight Wednesday's Results

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 14, 2021

Popperfoto via Getty Images

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal cruised through to the third round of the 2021 Monte-Carlo Masters with straight-set victories Wednesday at Monte Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France.

Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Roberto Bautista Agut were the other top-10 seeds to advance, while Diego Schwartzman was upset. Hubert Hurkacz, who won the Miami Open title earlier this month, was also eliminated.

Let's take a look at the complete list of scores from Wednesday's clay-court action. That's followed by a closer look at some of the most noteworthy results.

              

Wednesday's Second-Round Scores

(1) Novak Djokovic d. Jannik Sinner; 6-4, 6-2

(3) Rafael Nadal d. Federico Delbonis; 6-1, 6-2

(5) Alexander Zverev vs. Lorenzo Sonego; 6-3, 6-3

(6) Andrey Rublev d. Salvatore Caruso; 6-3, 6-2

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Casper Ruud d. (7) Diego Schwartzman; 6-3, 6-3

(9) Roberto Bautista Agut d. Tommy Paul; 6-3, 6-4

(11) David Goffin d. Marco Cecchinato; 6-4, 6-0

(12) Pablo Carreno Busta d. Karen Khachanov; 6-2, 6-3

Dan Evans d. (13) Hubert Hurkacz; 6-4, 6-1

(14) Grigor Dimitrov d. Jeremy Chardy; 7-6 (3), 6-4

(15) Fabio Fognini d. Jordan Thompson; 6-3, 6-3

(16) Cristian Garin d. John Millman; 6-1, 6-4

Lucas Pouille d. Alexei Popyrin; 7-5, 2-6, 6-3

Filip Krajinovic d. Juan Ignacio Londero; 6-0, 6-3

              

Notable Results

Djokovic and Nadal are seemingly on a collision course to meet in the final, and nothing that happened on the court Wednesday changed that outlook.

The top-seeded Serb didn't record a single ace, a rarity for the 18-time Grand Slam champion even in the slow court conditions, but he still managed to win 61 percent of the points on his serve and used his defense to take care of the rest, capturing 51 percent of the points on Sinner's serve.

"It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match [and] a big challenge for me," Djokovic told reporters. "Jannik is in form. He played the final [in] Miami and has been playing well. I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time."

He advances to face Evans in the third round. It will mark their first career ATP Tour meeting.

Meanwhile, Nadal was similarly efficient as he took care of Delbonis in just 82 minutes as he seeks his 12th Monte-Carlo tournament title.

It wasn't a match without a little bit of drama, as the Argentine qualifier generated five break points against the King of Clay, but Nadal saved four of those chances and earned five breaks of his own en route to the triumph over the 87th-ranked player in the world.

"It was solid match," Nadal said. "Of course, a very positive result. He's a good player on clay. โ€ฆ Nothing unbelievable, but nothing wrong. Just a solid match, a positive start. I think I did what I had to do today."

The star Spaniard will take on Dimitrov in the next round. He's won 13 of their prior 14 Tour matchups.

Elsewhere, Schwartzman's loss is a continuation of a recent downward trend in form with a 2-3 record since winning the Argentina Open in his home country in early March. All three losses have come against unseeded opponents.

The 2020 French Open semifinalist won just 38 percent of points on his second serve Wednesday, and Ruud took full advantage with three breaks to help spark the minor upset.

Play at Monte Carlo Country Club continues with the third round Thursday leading toward the championship match, which is scheduled for Sunday.