Nadal rolls, Djokovic wobbles, Murray bows out of Monte-Carlo

After needing three sets to get past Kyle Edmund in his opening match at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Rafael Nadal raised his level considerably and crushed Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-1 during third-round action on Thursday. Nadal lost only seven points in seven service games to advance in one hour and eight minutes.

“Before the match, I thought it was going to be a big test for me–a very hard match,” Nadal commented. “I went on court knowing it’s going to be one of these kind of matches that if you don’t play well, you are probably going to go out. But I played well. I played much better than yesterday. I played more aggressively and I played with a very high intensity from the beginning. I was playing much better with my forehand. I maintained that kind of level for all the match, I think. That was the key.”

It was a less than ideal 20th birthday for Zverev, who won fewer than half of the points on both his first and second serves.

Nadal interview:

Pablo Carreno Busta put up a much better fight against Novak Djokovic, even coming within five points of an upset. The Spaniard had two break points to go up 5-4 in the final set, but Djokovic saved both of them and ultimately prevailed 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 after two hours and 26 minutes.

It was a second straight scare for the second-ranked Serb, who beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 on Tuesday after Simon served for the match at 5-4 in the third.

Whereas Djokovic has been snatching victory from the jaws of defeat this week, Andy Murray did the opposite on Thursday. The world No. 1 led Albert Ramos-Vinolas 4-0 in the final set only to go down 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.

“At 4-0, one of the service games where I got broken, I didn’t play such a good game,” Murray admitted. “Then he obviously started playing better towards the end of the set. I still had a bunch of chances; I guess both of us did, really. I certainly struggled a bit at the end of the match. A few times today I made some bad decisions. That’s something that, with my team, I’ll look at, watch some parts of the match over, see the shots that I chose, and what I would do differently.”

“The most normal thing would be to lose the match,” Ramos-Vinolas said when asked about the 4-0 deficit. “But today it’s one of those days that sometimes happens. I still fought. I was fighting. I was 0-4, and I thought that I need to keep playing every point. Then, at the end, I won. I don’t know what to say.”


8 Comments on Nadal rolls, Djokovic wobbles, Murray bows out of Monte-Carlo

  1. Too much pressure is put on the young promising players even before they’ve achieved anything. Zverev approached that match as if Rafa was the underdog and he was the favourite. To have that attitude against Rafa’s pedigree especially on clay is really silly. The NextGen would do well to keep their feet on the ground and not buy into the hype.

    Smashing his racquet because he was losing to a player who has won the tournament 9 times is ridiculous. Of course they should believe they can win and do their best to win but not have a superior attitude against players who have proved themselves for over a decade even before they’ve won anything.

  2. Big win for Rafa. He really upped it a level today. Seemed to be moving better side to side and really hitting his groundies with depth. Zverev didn’t play well, but Nadal had a lot to do with it, especially at the beginning of the match. The one thing Zverev really needs to do is work on his serve. With his frame, one ace (I think) in 2 sets is not good enough. Racket smash was frustration, not justified but understandable. By the 2nd set Zverev was in a very negative mental place. Wasn’t it his birthday, too?

    If Rafa maintains this level he can certainly beat Novak in his current form.

    • Oh!Okay Dory…Hey,u rarely posting must be fun if u could come here often!Btw,nice to have u here Dory!!

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