Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (Sports Network) - World No. 1 star Novak
Djokovic, second seed Andy Murray and eight-time reigning champion Rafael
Nadal were a trio of second-round winners Wednesday at the $3.465 Monte Carlo
Masters, the third ATP Masters 1000 event of the year.
Djokovic, who has been nursing an ankle injury suffered during some Davis
Cup action a couple weeks ago, started slow Wednesday before rebounding for a
4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny, while the third-
seeded former No. 1 Nadal won his 43rd straight match on the red clay at the
famed Monte Carlo Country club with a 6-1, 6-2 pasting of helpless Aussie
This prestigious tennis event, which dates all the way back to 1897, has been
captured the last eight years by the great Nadal, who topped Djokovic in
last year's marquee finale. Last year's final also marked a rematch
of the 2009 title match, which was also won by the clay-court king
Nadal, who is now 45-1 lifetime at this event, owns a record 22 Masters
titles overall. The seven-time French Open champion's third-round opponent
will be 16th-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber, while the two-time Monte
Carlo runner-up Djokovic will take on Argentine Juan Monaco.
The U.S. Open champion Murray cruised past French qualifier Edouard Roger-
Vasselin 6-1, 6-4 and will meet Swiss slugger Stan Wawrinka on Thursday, while
fourth-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych opened his stay here
with a 7-5, 6-4 decision against Spaniard Marcel Granollers on Day 4.
Ninth-seeded Croat Marin Cilic knocked out 6-foot-8 South African Kevin
Anderson 6-2, 6-3, while veteran Austrian left-hander Jurgen Melzer upset
10th-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-2. Almagro was a clay-court
runner-up in Houston last week, while Anderson was a runner-up on the dirt in
In other second-round action involving seeds, Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen
upended No. 12 Milos Raonic of Canada 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), a No. 13 Wawrinka
drilled Spanish qualifier Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-1 and a No. 14 Monaco held
off talented Latvian Ernests Gulbis 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. Nieminen is rewarded with a
third-round match against fifth-seeded former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin
Additional second-round wins came for Italian Fabio Fognini and German Florian
Mayer. Fognini should have his hands full with Berdych on Thursday.
The Sports Network