Nadal and Federer through as Vesely crashes out


Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer each progressed into the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters as Jiri Vesely crashed out a day after defeating world number one Novak Djokovic.

Nadal saw off Dominic Thiem 7-5 6-3 to set up a last-eight meeting with Stan Wawrinka, who defeated Gilles Simon 6-1 6-2.

Federer needed only an hour and nine minutes to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 6-4 but Vesely, who handed Djokovic his first defeat to a player outside the top 50 since 2010, suffered an exit at the hands of Gael Monfils.

World number two Andy Murray came from a set and 3-0 down to beat Benoit Paire - setting up a clash with Milos Raonic following the Canadian's triumph against Damir Dzumhur. Thursday's shock came as Marcel Granollers beat 11th seed David Goffin, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame countryman Lucas Pouille.



The first set against Thiem proved something of a grind for Nadal, an eight-time winner on the clay in Monaco, as he was forced to save 15 break points in the opener, which lasted 81 minutes.

Nadal's difficulties continued early in the second as Thiem broke to love for a 2-1 lead.

But the Spaniard immediately responded to capitalise on a shaky service game from the Austrian before making sure there was no need for a tie-break.

The key second break came in the eighth game as Thiem's resistance finally wilted, with Nadal serving out to love to secure a clash with French Open champion Wawrinka.



Four finals, four defeats, Roger Federer's Monte Carlo Masters record makes for grim reading for the 17-time grand slam champion.

But he is in a good position to win the title for the first time after cruising into the last eight with a comfortable win over Bautista Agut.

Federer was rarely trouble in his brief time on court, hitting 29 winners en route to victory.

"As the match progressed, I felt better and better," Federer said. "Once I made the break, I was able to relax a little more. I'm happy with what I did."



Jiri Vesely stunned the tennis world with his three-set victory over the most dominant player in the sport, but he will be feeling very different emotions following his 6-1 6-2 loss to Monfils. 

Monfils needed only an hour and 13 minutes to end Vesely's tournament and feels the effects of his opponents' effort against Djokovic on Wednesday impacted the Czech's performance.

"Of course, when you play a big match the day before, it's always difficult to play again the next day," Monfils said.

"There are two solutions: either you play very well the next day or it's very tough. I believe for him today it was not that good."



Having crashed out of the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open in the third round, Murray avoided another exit at the same stage this time around, but only after surviving a major scare from Paire.

Murray seemed set for a shock defeat when Paire appeared to hold a comfortable advantage in the second set, however, the Frenchman promptly lost his composure.

Paire broke for a 5-4 lead in the decider but failed to serve out the match, with Murray completing the turnaround after two hours and 33 minutes.

The Brit emerged victorious 2-6 7-5 7-5, yet he will need to up his game if he is to make a third semi-final appearance at the Monte Carlo Country Club.