The way to the Quarterfinals
The program in Center Court, renamed Court Rainier III last year, started with the match between French Benoit Paire (16) and Scottish Andy Murray (2), where Andy, who started sluggish showing a very negative body language and a bad mood, lost the first set to Paire who was playing really well. But The Scot’s champion instinct prevailed and he managed to fight back to win the next two sets 6-2, 5-7, 5-7. Hopefully, he will be ready for his match against Milos Raonic this Friday if he seriously plans to make it to the semis.
Next was Rafael Nadal (5) who defeated young hope Austrian Dominic Thiem (12) who made Nadal work for his money during the first set, but the Spaniard had lift his game a notch in the second winning in two straight sets 7-5, 6-3. The Toro is back and his objective is a 9th victory in Monte-Carlo, but he has some way to go. He will face Swiss Wawrinka in the quarters for what will surely be a tough battle.
Swiss Roger Federer (3) is in top form and had no problems winning over Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut (14) in two straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Agut who was celebrating his birthday on this day had hoped for a better result that was denied by the Swiss who has a good chance at making it all they way. Federer fans packed central court to watch his hero play his best tennis ever.
We were all looking forward to watch young French Lucas Pouille play on Central Court, he who had surprisingly crashed 9th seed Richard Gasquet the day before, but Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stopped his compatriot in his tracks by winning in two straight sets 6-4, 6-4, and affirmed in a post match interview that he feels confident facing Federer next.
In Court des Princes French Gael Monfils beat Czech Jiri Vesely easily in two straight sets 6-1, 6-2. Incredible to think that Vesely had defeated World No.1 Djokovic just the day before and now he is out the race himself! Lucky Looser Marcel Granollers from Spain, who had replaced David Ferrer who forfeited, beat David Goffin from Belgium in two straight sets 7-6, 6-4. Swiss Stan Wawrinka dispatched French Gilles Simon in two sets 6-1, 6-2. Finally Canadian Milos Raonic had to play three sets to finally do away with 23-year-old Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.
Single matches scheduled on Central Court for Friday, April 15
(10) M. Raonic (CAN) vs. (2) A. Murray (GBR)
(5) R. Nadal (SPA) vs. (4) S. Wawrinka (SWI)
(3) R. Federer (SWI) vs. (8) J.W. Tsonga (FRA)
(13) G. Monfils (FRA) vs. (LL) M. Granollers (SPA)
“The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself to win.” Andy Murray