The fourth day of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters was largely impacted by rainfall, which meant that several hours could not be played on the clay courses of the Country Club. In addition, title favourite Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the tournament as a result of an arm injury.

Novak Djokovic got off to a strong start as he began the tournament with a convincing victory. The Serb, who is seeded first at this tournament, needed 71 minutes to win his first duel on clay at the expense of Russian Roman Safiullin. He only gave up three games; 6-1, 6-2. The first set lasted just over half an hour and showed that Djokovic has recharged well in the past month for the clay court season, in which he also has to defend his lead in the world rankings.

Like other top players, the Serb has his sights set on Roland Garros and then the Olympic Games. “That will definitely be an important moment in this year because you can only win the gold medal in tennis once every four years. That tournament is definitely high on my wish list,” the 24-time Grand Slam winner made clear this week.

Former tournament winner Stan Wawrinka, who was allowed to participate with a wild card, was eliminated in the first round by Alex de Minaur. The two men had to wait two hours before they could fight their duel because of the rain. But once on center court, the Australian proved to be too strong as he needed just over an hour to win in two sets: 6-3, 6-0. He will play in the next round against the Dutchman Griekspoor.

Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry defeated Chilean Nicolas Jarry in two long sets (6-4, 7-5) and thus has the right to challenge two-time winner Tsitsipas on Wednesday, April 10. There will certainly also be a lot of attention for Jannik Sinner who will make his entrance against the American Sebastian Korda, who defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the surprise finalist in 2022, in two sets (6-1, 6-2).

For the rain-soaked Italian legion, it was a disappointment because the other darling, Matteo Berrettini, who won in Marrakech last weekend, was eliminated by Miomir Kecmanovic; 6-3, 6-1. The Serb will play Bulgarian Dimitrov in the next round. Hubert Hurkacz has qualified for the next round in an exciting duel with Jack Draper; 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, before fifth-seeded Sacha Zverev closed the day with a victory over Austria’s Ofner: 6-3, 6-4.

Featured image courtesy of REUTERS/Denis Balibouse: Novak Djokovic reacts during his round of 32 match against Russia’s Roman Safiullin