Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Raonic advances, Shapovalov falls at Monte Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal GETTYRafael Nadal is raring to go at the Monte Carlo Masters
Lucia Summers | 17 April, 2018, 00:54

"I mean, I (have) played probably six, seven matches since Wimbledon past year", said Djokovic, who next faces Borna Coric of Croatia.

So was the painstakingly tiresome recovery which followed.

"It's not great but game on clay, but you know, I'm trusting annoyance, &rdquo". "It was a boring time because I don't like to be doing nothing". Although he appears to have slotted straight back into his clay groove, his Acapulco setback leaves him circumspect about speaking too soon. "Of course it stays a little bit in your mind".

Last year, Nadal won a 10th Monte Carlo Masters crown by defeating his fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final and, at 30 years and 10 months old, became the oldest champion in the Open Era at the tournament.

Federer said that he will not play on clay this year - just like he did in 2017 - after suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Thanasi Kokkinakis in his Miami Open opener last month. "He says he will love to play against me again in best of five sets on clay", came the reply.

He opens with a bye and then either Pablo Cuevas or Fernando Verdasco - both are inconsistent these days - before a potential round three with Milos Raonic, another player whose level is tough to judge on clay now.

Blues striker stretchered off the pitch one month to the World Cup
The Chelsea loanee has been a revelation at Dortmund since his arrival in January, scoring seven goals in only 10 league games. For Belgium, who are in England's World Cup group, Batshuayi appeared in half of his side's qualifiers.

The 31-year-old, Nadal, begins his claycourt title-hunting season with few matches in the legs this year though, having taken an extended rest after suffering a hip injury in Melbourne against Croatia's Marin Cilic who will be seeded two at the Monte Carlo Country Club overlooking the ocean. "For me mentally the second one was even harder than what happened in Australia, even if Australia was a Grand Slam and was an opportunity lost".

He feels at home at the picture-postcard tournament with its center court perched over the glittering Mediterranean sea. Bedene is coming off a solid showing in which he got 70 percent of his first serves in play and dropped just 15 service points overall. I always feel comfortable here.

Berdych, a Monaco resident, was runner-up to Djokovic in Monte Carlo in 2015.

Gerri Halliwell Horner, former Spice Girl and recent cameo maker in an Andy Murray comedy clip, joined the fray, as did other Brits including comedian Josh Widdicombe, former soccer player Jamie Redknapp, cricketer Andrew Flintoff and more.

The former-top ranked Djokovic has been troubled by a persistent right elbow injury and his ranking has tumbled to No. 13.

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