Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (SportsNetwork.com) – Former champion Novak
Djokovic was a predictable second-round winner Tuesday at the $3.5 million
Monte Carlo Masters, the first clay-court Masters event of the year.
After enjoying an opening-round bye, the high-flying world No. 1 superstar
handled Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-4 at the famed Monte Carlo
Country Club, where Djokovic titled two years ago and is a two-time runner-up.
The Serbian stalwart captured this year’s first two Masters events, back-to-
back in Indian Wells and Miami.
Another second-round result saw fifth-seeded former Monte Carlo runner-up
David Ferrer top the Dominican Republic’s Victor Estrella Burgos 6-2, 2-0,
Five seeds posted first-round wins on Day 3, as No. 9 Bulgarian Grigor
Dimitrov foiled 2010 Monte Carlo finalist Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 4-6, 6-4;
No. 10 Frenchman Gilles Simon doused wild Benjamin Balleret of Monaco 6-4,
6-2; No. 11 Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga topped German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4,
6-4; No. 14 Frenchman Gael Monfils overcame Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov
4-6, 6-3, 6-4; and No. 16 Spaniard Tommy Robredo held off Italian Andreas
Seppi 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
Additional opening-round wins came for Spaniard Marcel Granollers, Argentine
Juan Monaco, Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and wild card Lucas Pouille, and Serb
Viktor Troicki, who bested last week’s Casablanca champion Martin Klizan 7-6
(7-5), 5-7, 6-2. Chardy will meet the great Roger Federer on Wednesday.
In the first all-Swiss final in 14 years on the ATP World Tour, Stan Wawrinka
upset Roger Federer for last year’s Monte Carlo title.
This week’s No. 3 seed, Rafael Nadal, won an Open Era-record eight
consecutive titles at this event from 2005-2012 and has a staggering 50-3
record in the tournament. He’ll open his week against Pouille on Wednesday.