The third day of the Rolex Masters didn’t have huge upsets. Some outsiders started their tournament and demonstrated their ambitions.
Jannik Sinner had an easy start because of the fact that his opponent Diego Schwartzman was injured. The Argentine, who is Sinner’s partner in the doubles, couldn’t even finish the match and retired at 6-0, 3-1. The Italian was supported by lots of compatriots in the stands. He will now play the Polish Hubert Hurkacz before he can eventually meet Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. The Serbian star will first have to beat another Italian, Lorenzo Musetti, who had an easy victory over his compatriot Luca Nardi (6-0, 6-0).
Daniil Medvedev had a good start with a victory over Lorenzo Sonego. After the match he made a happy impression with this comeback after four years on the clay of Monaco: “I have not had good experiences in this tournament but I am happy to play in front of this public. I feel at home at the Monte-Carlo Open,” he said in fluent French after the match to Marc Maury, the official announcer of the tournament.
He didn’t feel happy to play on clay courts but with some psychological help he should do better in this tournament, in which he reached the semis in 2019, during his last participation. He will meet Alexander Zverev, who did well over the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut (6-4, 6-4). This is perhaps the most interesting game of Thursday. “I think we have never met on clay, so it will be for sure special for both of us,” claimed Medvedev.
Stan Wawrinka, the winner of the tournament in 2014, crashed out by losing to the American Taylor Fritz but in the first set the public saw a stunning tiebreak: 10-8 for Fritz. This broke the Swiss’s resistance and Fritz easily won the second set: 6-2. Also Dominic Thiem left the tournament with a defeat against Holger Rune. The Danish youngster won in two sets: 6-2, 6-4. During the match he unfortunately hit one of the lineswoman, who had to be replaced.
The Norwegian outsider Casper Ruud had a good win over Botic van de Zandschulp, his feared opponent after three defeats in recent years. Ruud won in two sets 7-5, 7-6. In the second set the Dutch opponent took the lead but gave away an advantage of 4-1. In the tiebreak the decision was made with 7-1 for the Norwegian, who will now meet Jan-Lennard Struff from Germany.
Titleholder Stefanos Tsitsipas played in the doubles with his brother Petros and was eliminated by Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer in a supertiebreak (10-5). On Thursday he will be back in the main tournament and will meet Nicolas Jarry from Chile.
PHOTO: Jannik Sinner