The ATP 1000 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters has begun, and this time, the top seeds are very much interested in playing the doubles as well. May be for some practice, or may be to warm-up for their country’s upcoming Davis Cup matches later this year. Players such as Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov, the two Pablos, and Alexander Zverev, who is partnering his elder brother Mischa Zverev, who got knocked out in the singles today.
The R64 has reached half its way, and the seeded players are 7-0 until now, excluding the top 8 players, who got a bye each for the opening round. The two qualifiers from Russia, Andrey Kuznetsov and Adrian Mannarino gave their opponents a tough time While Kuznetsov faced the number 9 seed Tomas Berdych, Mannarino faced the only qualifier from Spain, Guillermo-Garcia Lopez. Berdych lost the opening set, 4-6, as his serve got broken after 3-3. Battling it out, the two qualifiers lost the opening matches. Garcia-Lopez also lost the opening set, 1-6. But further, he caught up the rhythm.
The Spanish seeds number 12 and 13, Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta, also took their respective matches to a decider, against the Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili and Stan Wawrinka’s doubles partner, Fabio Fognini respectively. While Nikoloz took the first set with ease, he didn’t make up the best use of opportunities in the second. Perhaps, he gave an edge-to-edge competition in the decider set, but eventually lost it, 5-7. Also, the Italian star, Fognini, gave a cut-throat competition to Busta, as the first two sets were stretched to a tie-break. Fognini didn’t execute his shots well in the decider, and his serve was easily broken.
The younger Zverev brother, Alexander, had an easy win over the Italian wild card player, Andreas Seppi, in straight sets. The Argentine, Diego Schwartzman, defeated the Australian spoilt brat, Bernard Tomic, 6-1, 7-6(3). Tomic woke up later in the match, but it proved to be late for him. The doubles partner for Novak Djokovic, his fellow compatriot, Viktor Troicki, lost to the number 16 seed, Pablo Cuevas.
An all-Belgian and an all-British battle was on the record for the opening round. The Belgian number 10 seed, David Goffin defeated Steve Darcis, in straight sets, with whom he had partnered in the Davis Cup early this month. Goffin won 6-2, 6-1. While on the other hand, Kyle Edmund and Daniel Evans battled it out real hard in the first set, but the second set went away in a hurry, making Edmund the winner for the score line 7-5, 6-1.
The seeded player left to play the R64 now is the French number 11 seed, Lucas Pouille, who will be facing the American, Ryan Harrison. The two have never met before, and are ranked number 17 and number 50 in the world rankings.