No ‘Djoke’ in Monte Carlo, Vesely wins
Defending Monte Carlo champion and world number one Novak Djokovic suffered his earliest tournament defeat for three years when 55th-ranked Czech Jiri Vesely beat him in the second round of the Masters tournament on Wednesday.
He lost 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in what was the pair’s first ever match.
Djokovic had tightened his iron grip on the sport in recent months, winning nine of his last 10 tournaments, with the only blemish in that run coming when he was forced to retire against Feliciano Lopez in Dubai due to an eye problem.
Wednesday’s defeat was his earliest on the tour since he lost in the second round of the Madrid Open in 2013 and is a significant blip in his preparations for May’s French Open, the only grand slam to have eluded the 11 times major winner. The match was 22-year-old Vesely’s first victory against a top-10 opponent after eight previous failures.
Nadal beats Bedene to reach 3rd round
Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal dropped serve twice and still beat Aljaz Bedene of Britain 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday.
Nadal was broken for a second time when serving for the match at 5-3, but the Spaniard broke straight back to seal victory. The fifth-seeded Nadal, who won the last of his titles here in 2012, next faces 12th-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria. No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, also advanced past Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (2), 7-5 into the third round.