Clay aces Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal started their spring seasons in enviable form on Wednesday by booking spots in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Reigning Roland Garros champion Wawrinka notched up a 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Nadal, seeded fifth, emerged a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Briton Aljaz Bedene as the Spaniard tries to recover the form which saw him dominate clay for most of a decade.
But Bosnian Damir Dzumhur pulled off a huge upset with his defeat of Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-7 (1/7), 6-3. It marked only the second career win for the 99th-ranked underdog over a top 10 opponent.
Number four Wawrinka, who also won the title at the seaside Monte Carlo Country Club over Roger Federer in 2014, will line up in the third round against French 15th seed Gilles Simon. Nadal will play Austrian Dominic Thiem, who fought back to defeat Japan’s Taro Daniel 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.
“He’s a really tough player,” Wawrinka said of Simon. “It’s going to be a good test for me to see where is my level. I will have to play already a really good match if I want to beat him.”
“It was a good first match on clay. It’s never easy to find the rhythm and to play the perfect match. In general, I’m quite happy with the level already,” Wawrinka said.
Full match report at http://arysports.tv/wawrinka-nadal-make-winning-clay-starts-berdych-slumps/