Murray, Nadal made to work in Monte Carlo

Apr 22, 2017, 00:17
Murray, Nadal made to work in Monte Carlo

He will now challenge No. 15 Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who booked his place in the third round for the first time with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over qualifier Carlos Berlocq in 80 minutes.

The 14th-seeded German, who pushed Nadal to five sets in the third round of the Australian Open, defeated Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, 6-0, 6-4 in one hour.

Returning from an elbow injury, Murray had struggled in his first match of the clay-court season, against Gilles Muller in the second round after a first-round bye.

"I need to decide whether I try to get matches or whether I try to get myself in better shape physically, put as much work in as I can", he said after that exit in Monte Carlo. "I still had a bunch of chances, I guess both of us did really", Murray said. "I'm confident that with dedication and commitment and a positive mindset, I can get to the level where I want to be".

Pouille thumped two heavy forehands to hold serve easily at the start and then broke Cuevas for 2-0.

Ramos-Vinolas then edged ahead, with Murray saving a match point in the final game but the reigning Olympic champion missed on a drop shot to hand a shock win to his opponent.

Former French Open and Monte Carlo champion Stan Wawrinka followed Murray out after losing to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 6-4.

Later, defending champion Rafael Nadal outlasted Britain's Kyle Edmund 6-0, 5-7, 6-3 to also reach the third round of an event he has won nine times. After breaking Murray's serve again, Ramos-Vinolas served out the match on his second serve.

"I definitely played better as the match went on", said Murray.

It was Ramos-Vinolas' first career victory over a reigning world No. 1 in four attempts and sent him into his first career Masters quarterfinal in his 31st Masters 1000 tournament appearance. "I should have been able to do enough to weather that storm a little bit and finish the match off". "My body felt pretty good".

Nadal made a dazzling start on one of his favourite courts but hard-hitting 22-year-old Edmund hit back to worry the Spaniard who was playing his 400th match on the red dust. He likes the clay, he competes hard on the surface.

There were a couple of upsets as German Jan-Lennard Struff knocked out eighth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and Argentine Diego Schwartzman beat 12th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 7-6 (3).

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