Heads and tails in Monte Carlo for the two heads of the circuit who returned after almost two months without playing. While Rafael Nadal has had no problems getting through the round of 16 by beating the Bulgarian Grigor dimitrov by 6-1 and 6-1, Novak Djokovic has been eliminated before the British Daniel evans by 6-4 and 7-5.
The world number 1, who had made a great impression, after his debut against the Italian Jannik Sinner, in his second game at the Country Club he has been unknown, he has said goodbye to Monte Carlo in a disastrous game and in just over two hours. Evans He has achieved a triumph that, possibly, he himself did not trust when he entered the Rainero III plant.
The British tennis player, 32 worldwide, has found a gift of entry in the first game where Djokovic he has yielded it by committing four unforced errors, of which two double faults.
Evans He has taken a 3-0 lead and blasted 40-30 and serves to further increase his unexpected lead. Djokovic , who was totally disconnected, has saved the situation and has managed to equalize the score 4-4. It seemed that the Serbian had found his rhythm, but once again he has given up his serve and the set, failing at key moments inexplicably.
45 unforced errors
The second set looked like it would be better for Djokovic and that he would recover from the disaster when he has led 3-0. But again, before a Evans very solid and brave, he has let that advantage slip by accumulating unforced errors (45 throughout the game).
The British tennis player, who at 30 years old, has only played 19 matches on clay, of them until this Thursday with only 5 victories, has ended up adding the most important of his life, eliminating the world number 1, two-time champion in Monte Carlo ( 2013 and 2015), to qualify for the quarterfinals of the tournament where, this Friday, he will face the Belgian David goffin which has also given another surprise by eliminating the German Alexander Zverev by 6-4 and 7-6 (9-7).
Nadal, without disheveled
Nadal immediately afterwards jumped to the Monte Carlo headquarters, willing not to be surprised as Djokovic. In just 27 minutes he had already scored the first set against Dimitrov, yielding only one game.
The 11-time champion in Monte Carlo was not up for speculation against an opponent who has only won him one of the 15 times they have met on the track. On a gray, windy and annoying day to play tennis, he has given no choice for another surprise.
Without having to force at any time, against a Dimitrov who seemed to have little desire to suffer on the track, Nadal has continued his rhythm until reaching the quarter-finals, in less than an hour.
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The Mallorcan tennis player will face this Friday the winner of the match that Roberto Bautista played next against the Russian Andrey Rublev.
The Spanish Alexander Davidovich will also be in the quarterfinals, for the first time in a Masters 1,000, by beating the French Lucas pouille by 6-2 and 7-6 (7-2). The 19-year-old tennis player from Malaga will face the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas who has defeated the chilean Christian Garin (6-3, 6-4).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.