Kokkinakis tripped up in Monte Carlo

18 April, 2018, 03:27 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Monte Carlo Masters: Rafael Nadal 'fit and ready' to defend title after returning to ATP Tour from injury

It was expected to be a tough match for Nadal, but the world number one showed why he is considered the most dominant clay court player in the history of the sport by dispatching his opponent in straight sets. He said that a couple of days ago - and I thought he would play Roland Garros. He was really genuinely wanting to help and to give me advices and to share his experience with me. "I'm pleased about the easy win today, because a first match is always a special moment", he added.

It is no doubt that the Spaniard will be favourite to win in Monte-Carlo as he eyes winning the event for the 11th time in his Tennis career.

"Back then, it was my first year on the tour, no one knew me, I was the new guy".

Novak Djokovic got off to a strong start at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters on Monday by obliterating fellow Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-0, 6-1 in the opening round at Monaco. Herbert won the Monte Carlo doubles title with Nicolas Mahut in 2016.

The victory will not rank among his greatest, but it was no doubt a reaffirming afternoon for former world No.1 Djokovic, who was smarting from three successive losses and seems to have found some of his lethal form once more.

The Australian tennis player, taking on fellow young gun Karen Khachanov on Russian Federation in the first round, was handed a 5-7 4-6 defeat on Sunday. Bedene has been consistent with his first serve pretty much all season long and will need every bit of that in order to have success in this match. The Spaniard was dominant previous year on clay and has typically been head-and-shoulders above the rest on the surface throughout his career.

"I was unable to do any physical work because the psoas (muscle) was affecting all the movements I could do", he said.

When the 30-year-old Serb deposed Donald Young in the first round at the Australian Open, it was with his usual flourishes that he did so: the deep groundstrokes and plays at the net that have always been his trademark style.

Two weeks later the 36-year-old announced he will not be competing on the dirt this season, prompting a playful comment from his rival ahead of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Germany's Mayer fell out after suffering a 7-5, 6-4 defeat to Luxembourg's Muller, and qualifier Stefanos Tsitsipas kept his Monte Carlo dream alive with an assured 6-3, 6-4 win over Denis Shapovalov.

But Djokovic was flawless in his hammering of Lajovic and although he and Vajda have not made a long-term commitment to working together, the 12-time grand slam champion says he is already reaping the rewards of being reunited with his former coach.



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