Alexandr Dolgopolov notched his first main draw win in three visits to the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Monday as he defeated Juan Ignacio Chela 6-2, 6-2.
The 16th-seeded Ukrainian broke serve four times from five opportunities and won 74 per cent of points on serve to claim victory over the experienced Argentine in 57 minutes.
The 23-year-old Dolgopolov improved to an 11-8 match record on the season, highlighted by reaching the final at the Brisbane International (l. to Murray). He goes onto face Australia’s Bernard Tomic, whom he lost to in five sets in the third round of the Australian Open in January.
Spanish No. 13 seed Fernando Verdasco was made to work hard in his opener, battling from a set down to defeat Belgium’s Olivier Rochus 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 10 minutes. The left-hander, who was runner-up in 2010 (l. to Nadal), broke serve for the fourth time in the last game of the match to notch his 11th win of the year. He reached his 17th ATP World Tour final at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco (l. to Ferrer) on clay in February.
Spain’s Albert Montanes ousted Canadian Milos Raonic 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to set a second-round meeting with seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic. Montanes let slip a 6-2, 3-1 lead, but recovered in the third set to claim victory in one hour and 48 minutes.
Jarkko Nieminen set a daunting second-round clash with seven-time defending champion Rafael Nadal after beating Radek Stepanek 6-3, 7-6(3) in just under two hours. The No. 48-ranked Nieminen, who captured the Apia International Sydney title in January (d. Benneteau), has never beaten Nadal in six previous attempts, including in the Monte-Carlo second round last year.
Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber put paid to the hopes of French qualifier Guillaume Rufin, prevailing 6-4, 6-4 in 89 minutes. The No. 34-ranked Kohlschreiber earned a second-round clash with fourth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after recording his 15th win of the season.
In the only doubles match of the day, Viktor Troicki and Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 7-6(4), 6-4.