A day after the world number 1, Andy Murray lost, the world number 2, Novak Djokovic also got knocked out. David Goffin, the number 10 seed, played intelligent tennis, to knock out the 2016 Roland Garros champion in 3 sets. Both the players had won a set each, in 1 hour and 18 minutes, and then headed to the decider. Goffin lost the first service game, and Djokovic lead until Goffin broke back to level it at 4-4. After 6-5, Djokovic again lost the serve and the match, after playing three deuces in the last game. Next, the Belgian had to face the Spanish bull, Rafael Nadal in the semi-final, who defeated Diego Schwartzman in straight sets, the only match that wasn’t taken to the decider. Nadal had a poor first service in the first set, got broken twice and broke the Argentine thrice, but compensated well in the second set. Schwartzman began the second set well, but failed to keep up as Nadal broke his serve. Nadal won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Albert Ramos Vinolas, world number 24, seeded 15 at Monte Carlo, knocked out the seed number 5, Marin Cilic in 3 sets. The Spaniard took the first set with ease, and fell to a tie-break in the second, 7-6(5). In the decider, he lost the first service game, which was the first game of the set, but he didn’t err at all in the remaining match. He broke Cilic’s serve thrice, and finally won the set and the match, 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2. Cilic seemed unfocussed in the third set, with a poor first serve, committing 3 double faults. The Spaniard defeated the Croat for the second time and improved the head-to-head to 2-3, and had to face Lucas Pouille next, who had defeated Pablo Cuevas in 3 sets, to qualify for the semi-finals. With a very erroneous first serve. Cuevas lost the first set, 6-0. He picked up better in the second set, and made a comeback to win it, 6-3. In the decider, after being broken once, and have broken twice, he was leading 5-4, and was just a game away to book a place in the semi-finals, when the world number 17 changed the gears. Breaking in his opponent’s serve, Pouille won three consecutive games, and sealed the match.
IN THE SEMIFINALS…
With Albert Ramos Vinolas and Rafael Nadal in the semi-final, it was the first time since 2011 in Monte Carlo, that two Spaniards were in the semi-finals, but who knew, these two would become the finalists by the day end!
Vinolas defeated his potential opponent, Lucas Pouille in 3 sets. Playing so clean till the end of the second set, he lost his serve at 5-5, which gave Pouille the opportunity he wanted, and it was one set each. In the decider, Vinolas took the revenge, and sealed the match at 6-1 in the decider. Pouille only won his second service game in the set.
In another match, the king of clay, Rafael Nadal defeated the very potential David Goffin in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, to set up an all-Spanish clash at Monte Carlo, since 2011, when he defeated David Ferrer in the final, 6-4, 7-5. Both the players served well in the first set, which eventually went to Nadal. Goffin got broken thrice in the second set, and lost the match, 6-4, 6-1. Amidst the match, a wrong decision by the umpire Cedric Mourier, sparked a small conversation between him and Goffin.
An All-Spanish final is what we are looking to in an ATP 1000 event, for the fourth time ever, in Monte Carlo.