Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Monaco
 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) got things started.  Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) had chances but could not consolidate his break. The tactics employed by the players on clay to win a point are fascinating to watch in person. A player’s mental strength is more apparent on clay as it takes more patience to win a point. There is a tendency to want to go for your shots too early when you feel less physically or mentally fit and this is more obvious on clay where the rallies can be extremely long. In the end Wawrinka was more mentally fit and won 7-6(2), 7-5. Will Wawrinka make it to the final or will he be stopped by Nadal?
Next up was  Rafael Nadal (ESP). There were more moments of vintage Nadal today; however, just when you thought he was fully back, he stumbled. He failed to serve out the first set at 5-1 and had to fight to hold his serve the second time around to win the set.  Aljaz Bedene (GBR) may have been overwhelmed by playing on the main court against Nadal. He showed some of his talent in the second set, but Nadal was too good despite his few wobbles in both sets. He moved on with the 6-3, 6-3 victory.
The day ended with  Gael Monfils (FRA) vs.  Paolo Lorenzi (ITA). Monfils started off strong and won the first set 6-2. Lorenzi known for his ability on clay looked off his game. He performed better in the second set but he was no match for Monfils, who seems to have decided to play focused tennis this season. There were still the occasional antics but he kept his head and won 6-2, 6-4.
Of interest, both the finalists from last year lost their matches today to their much lower ranked opponents. There will be more exciting matchups tomorrow, which top player will be surprised?