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Monte Carlo Masters: Rafael Nadal beats Aljaz Bedene to reach third round

19 April 2018

There were wins for two giants of tennis at the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday, as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic progressed to the third round.

That triumph was the 12-time grand slam champion's first since the Australian Open in January and he followed it up with a 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 triumph over Coric to set up a clash with Dominic Thiem.

He will face Russia's world number 38 Karen Khachanov in the next round while Djokovic, who is seeded ninth in Monaco, will face Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem.

The 26-year-old Bulgarian rallied back in the second set with consecutive breaks before serving out to win.

Though it was a one-sided first set score, it still lasted the best part of 40 minutes as Nadal wore down his opponent.

And Herbert, the world number 82, wrapped up the opening set with another break as Dimitrov mishit a forehand into the stands. I hope I can play more matches on clay.

"All I (could) do was just fight and find a way to win, how doesn't really matter".

Nishikori, down to 36 in the rankings, received on-court treatment for a sore wrist but battled his way into round two in his first appearance in the tournament for six years.

Also advancing was former World No.6 but unseeded in this tournament, Kei Nishikori.

After storming into a 3-0 lead in the opening set, another break of serve saw Nadal take the first in convincing fashion. "I'm looking forward to watching Djokovic and Ćorić in front of the TV, and then playing the victor on Thursday".

Earlier, French number one Lucas Pouille blew a one-set lead to be dumped out by Zverev's older brother Mischa in a third-set tie-break.

Coric finally broke to make it 5-5, but Djokovic broke straight back and the 10th match point did the trick with Coric sending a backhand long.

Elsewhere, David Goffin edged out Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 to reach the last 16 for the third year in a row.

Nadal had a much easier match but also struggled to put the finishing touches on his win. Muller saved the first match point with a strong serve but lost to the imposing German on the next with a double fault.