Top Seeds Federer, Nadal, Wawrinka Cruise In Monte Carlo; Ferrer v Dimitrov Thursday
by Staff | April 16th, 2014, 5:06 pm

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer continued the domination by top seeds at Monte Carlo on Thursday. Nadal, an 8-time tournament champion, shrugged off a slow start to win 11 of the last 13 games to beat Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-1 in the second round.

“It was very important that point, 3-1, break point for him,” said Nadal. “I saved it with one good shot and one good volley. After that I felt that was the time to try to push a little bit more and increase a little bit the rhythm and the intensity. I did, I think. I played a good game to have the break back. I felt that I had the match a little bit more under control.

“Always in the first match, the thing that you want at the beginning is get into a rhythm, play some long points, find the feelings. But I didn’t have that chance because he started very quick with finding the winners on the first ball that he could.”

Nadal’s now won his last 29 matches on the clay since his Monte Carlo loss in the final last year to Novak Djokovic. Next for Nadal is a date with Italian No. 2 Andreas Seppi on Thursday.

Former No. 1 Federer opened his bid for a first Monte Carlo title with a rousing 6-1, 6-2 win over Radek Stepanek, his 25th victory of the season.

“I’m very happy now that I’m doing well,” said Federer, a late wildcard entrant into the event. “But, of course, I also expect this from myself. So I’m just trying to keep up that rhythm. I feel free physically and in my mind. I’m eager to play, I’m eager to practice. I want to play good points. I’m no longer afraid that the rally will last too long. This was getting in the way of my game last year, whereas now I can really enjoy myself.”

Federer’s countryman Stanislas Wawrinka also cruised. The Australian Open champion made a promising debut on his favorite clay crushing Marin Cilic 6-0, 6-2.

“I practiced perfectly before,” said Wawrinka who had been struggling since his Melbourne breakthrough. “I expected a more difficult or more complicated first round against him. But I was able, as I said, to practice well before. I felt good on the court. I know that physically if I feel good, then I am able to put a lot of pressure on the opponent.

“Now the clay court season is just starting and I’m always very pumped up for this particular moment of the year. I’m aware of my strengths, and I know that I must practice a lot and prepare well.”

Milos Raonic, Fabio Fognini, Milos Raonic, Tommy Robredo and Nicolas Almagro were also winners.

A pair of 22-year-olds also notched good wins. Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta earned one of his best career victories defeating Gael Monfils 6-4, 7-6. Carreno Busta, a “lucky loser”, now meets defending champion Novak Djokovic on Thursday. Also Grigor Dimitrov was a three set winner over Albert Ramos, and he’ll now take on another Spaniard in David Ferrer.


COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[9] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [10] F Fognini (ITA)
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs A Seppi (ITA)
L Rosol (CZE) vs [4] [WC] R Federer (SUI)
[LL] P Carreno Busta (ESP) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
[11] T Robredo (ESP) vs [8] M Raonic (CAN)
Not Before 12:30 pm
[3] S Wawrinka (SUI) vs [15] N Almagro (ESP)
[12] G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [6] D Ferrer (ESP)
[5] T Berdych (CZE) vs G Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

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Nadal v Isner, Federer v Monfils Headline Blockbuster Thursday In Monte Carlo
Grigor Dimitrov Is Back In A Funk, Will He Ever Be A Consistent Winner?
Nadal Wins, Federer v Wawrinka in All-Swiss Thursday at Monte Carlo
Murray Wins, Nadal Struggles at Monte Carlo; Nadal v Zverev Thursday

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22 Comments for Top Seeds Federer, Nadal, Wawrinka Cruise In Monte Carlo; Ferrer v Dimitrov Thursday

Maestro Fed Says:

Roger looked sharp and only Nadal can defeat him in this form.

Ckr Says:

Roger always looks in great form..until he runs into a top 5 player.

Patson Says:

Nole all the way.

metan Says:

Rafa is into the next round.Congratulations! You have a good starting.
Vamos, Rafa!!

Michael Says:

It would be a bit premature to judge the form of players based on their performance in early rounds. There are many instances where players struggle in early rounds but pick up as the tournament progresses and vice versa. Nevertheless, it would be a nice feeling to ride through with easy victories.

Daniel Says:

Wow, Rosol was leading Federer 4-2 and after that Fed won 10 games to Rosol 1.

The top 4 players are all with very convincing wins so far, a bunch of breadsticks and bagels.

Nadal had 6-1 in both his matches, Wawa had a pass and let’s see if Djoko will keep the trend.

So far Quarter finals are playing accordingly to seed: Nadal x Ferrer, Federer x Tsonga, Raonic x Wawrinka and most likely Berdych x Djoko. Wonder when was the last time top 8 seeds met in quarters in a Masters?

skeezer Says:

Ahhh I see Fed beat the Rafa beater.

skeezer Says:

Just noticed Nole handed out a Bagel. Looking forward to a Mat4 analysis of his current form.

contador Says:

Have not watched any tennis for days :/ :(

Was Djokovic merciless to the young Carrena-Busta, or what?

Berdych -G-lo match I see is in a decider.

contador Says:

Daniel, are you watching Berdych?

If you are tell us a little bit, if you can, please.

May the best man win. :D

Daniel Says:

Not watching Berdy contador. Just watch a few games of the Nadal match when I was getting ready to work. Due to holidays I wil be able to watch some matches tomorrow and the weekend.

Margot Says:

Berd was all over the place, huge UE count. Had back problem which didn’t help.
He looked limited tbh, but then I’m not a fan.
Nole looked a…may..zing!

Hippy Chic Says:

Margot what do you think about the rally for Bally?

contador Says:

G-lo won, Daniel.

Their h2h was even on 2 surfaces, clay and hc. G-lo is looking gassed up and ready to go. I thought yesterday that he might beat Berdych – would not have bet on him but…

Pity that Dimitrov could not handle Ferrer.

Nadal-Dimitrov was something to hope for. Grigor might have been able to get a set. Ferrer might get a set but he is not going to win. I believe there are laws against that in Spain. :D

contador Says:

Oh hello dear Margot. I am not a fan of Berdych but I he getting there, if he keeps his twitter personality. G-Lo can get hot, as I remember.

Devastating Djokovic, as Ben once was known to call him. Ajde, Nole!

Margot Says:

Hi conty honey :)
Yes, Berd on twitter almost seems to have a sense of humour….OMG!
G-Lo on the base line was like a brick wall and Berd didn’t have the variety/skill to dislodge him. Prior to this G-Lo had won about 2 matches at MC!
@hippy chicky
“Rally for Bally” is terrific osn’t it? But so sad it’s necessary. That woman has had too much illness/injury.

contador Says:

Nole is phenomenole ole ole !

Who else can do the splits in two directions, return like that, stretch like that, and not pull a groin muscle?? I mean on the ATP, that is… thinking of Kim Clijsters.

Daniel Says:

A confident Djokovic is very dangerous. He seems to get his act together and playing to dominate early on. Pretty similar to what he did in 2011, but back them he was winning the nail bitter matches while this last years he lost most of them (AO 2014 to Wawa in five, RG 2013 to Nadal in five, US Open 2012 to Murray in five) all matches that made a lot of difference in the overall scheme of things. But I believe he is still in his prime and motivated as he is, he can achieve great things still. Like his and Murray matches a lot and want to see the future dynamics of his rivalry with Nadal. Fed is aging so is only natural he will have the upper hand in that rivalry as well. Says:

Contador, not only that but he’s learned the Fed squash shot, so he can really make use of his speed and stretch.

I don’t think he could out hustle Rafa of 5 years ago, but I think he gives him a serious race now.

Back to the moment at hand, another outstanding slate of quarterfinals at a Masters. We’re really getting spoiled this year. Too bad Berdych didn’t make it, he’s really impressed me in reaching this level of stability at the (almost) top echelon after such a long career of ups and downs in form.

This week its Raonic and Tsonga looking to step in from the outside of the usual semifinalists (yes, I’m officially promoting Wawrinka). I think Wawrinka and Tsonga need this the most, and Wawrinka should surely have a clay edge over Milos. Tsonga is a very tough opponent for Fed, but with Fed’s form, and Tsonga’s lack lately, I think Fed will take it.
I’d be shocked if Ferrer wins a set.
Which would give us the semifinals everyone wanted. (except maybe some of us Canucks).

Ben Pronin Says:

Very disappointed in Dimitrov. Quite impressed with Raonic.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

Very disappointed in Dimitrov. Quite impressed with Raonic.

Same here. Raonic keeps improving his all out game under the guidance of Lujbicic. He’s moving better, improved BH, slice, volley and drop shot, and he’s showing emotions a lot more than before.

Tsonga won’t get a set from Federer. His game and form just isnt convincing. Fognini was a better player for the majority of the first two sets and then just imploded. Complete mental breakdown for not using all the break opportunities in the second set.

Dimitrov, the “up and coming” young player, is doing what all up and coming players have been doing in the last few years – have a few good matches at the beginning of the season and then disappear until next January. I thought he could and should do better than that.

James Says:

Did anyone seriously think Dimitrov could beat Ferrer on clay? Maybe he can, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

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