Three Of The Former Top Four Move On To The Quarterfinals

Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Monaco

 [2] Andy Murray (GBR) narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of [22] Benoit Paire (FRA).  Despite what appeared to be an insurmountable lead, Paire somehow managed to lose to Murray in three sets.  Murray moves into the quarterfinals with the 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory.  He will face [12] Milos Raonic (CAN) in the quarterfinals and that should be interesting. Murray leads their head-to-head 4:3; however, they are 1:1 on clay.  Who will prevail tomorrow?

 [5] Rafael Nadal (ESP) struggled through his first set against [14] Dominic Thiem (AUT).  At one point I thought this would be like their last match earlier this year when Thiem forced a tiebreak and won in three; however, Nadal was having none of that today.  After securing the first set, Nadal elevated his game in the second set. Nadal was much sharper mentally and stayed focused the entire set to win the match in straight sets.   His 7-5, 6-3 defeat of Thiem gave him a little revenge. More important though, he’s into the quarterfinals where he will meet another formidable opponent, Stan Wawrinka.  Nadal leads their head-to-head 14:3; however, Wawrinka has taken Nadal by surprise at some inopportune moments.  Will Nadal get by Wawrinka?

 [3] Roger Federer (SUI) had the easiest match of the day on the main court.  [17] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) still has not figured out how to beat Federer in five attempts and has yet to even force a tiebreak, much less win a set.  His 6-2, 6-4 victory sends him into the quarterfinals.  Federer looks fully recovered from his knee surgery and we should expect to see him in the semifinals on Saturday. 

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