Wednesday's matches emerged the whole round of 16 line-up in ATP Rolex Monte Carlo Masters. 12 matches were played today, where the favorites mostly turned out to be winners, setting up some really intriguing match-ups for Thursday's showdown between top 16 players of this year's edition of ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo.
Only 4 out of 16 seeded players are out of the competition so far. Alex De Minaur, seeded with #14, was the only one to get eliminated today, as he surprisingly came up short against Jan Lennard Struff. The German showed a brilliant performance today, upsetting the higher ranked Aussie with a dominant win 6-3 6-2. The other seeds missed in round of 16 are Frances Tiafoe, Cameron Norrie and Borna Coric. Tiafoe pulled out just before the start of tournament, following his victory in ATP 250 in Houston. It was crazy week for Tiafoe, who needed to play 4 matches in just 2 days because of bad weather conditions tormenting the event in Houston. Norrie, who played a really great clay campaign in South America two months ago, got eliminated by Francisco Cerundolo in first round, losing in straight sets. Coric got beaten by another clay specialist, Nicolas Jarry, also in straight sets. Both Jarry and Cerundolo delivered the only two three-sets matches on Wednesday. The Chilean prevailed against Alexei Popyrin, winning 3-6 7-5 6-4. Jarry was a pre-match favorite, but needed to fight back after losing first set. Each set in this match was decided by just one break. Cerundolo played the most exciting match of the day against Matteo Berrettini. The Argentinian showed a great spirit in first set, while being able to come back from the score 0-5. Cerundolo did not give up, winning 7 games in a row since then and defending the setpoint during Berrettini's serve in 9th game. Despite giving away the opening set in really unusual circumstances, the Italian regrouped really well since the start of second set. Berrettini was serving brilliantly, not allowing Cerundolo to create any single breakpoint till the end of match. The current world's number 22 grabbed second set in tiebreak and took the deciding one with an advantage of one break, gained in 5th game.
Other matches did not bring this level of emotions and plot twists, as all the main contenders made their job done in confident style. Daniil Medvedev prevailed well in his first clay match of the season. Lorenzo Sonego could be anticipated as a really tricky opponent for first on-court appearance after switch into surface which is far from favorite for the Russian. Despite that, Medvedev showed a really good stuff, winning 6-3 6-2, converting 5 out of 8 created breakpoints, while facing just one within own serve. The next challenge will not be easier, as Medvedev sets up a hit clash of R16 against Alexander Zverev. The German advanced after winning against Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-4.
Casper Ruud needed to put some good effort in goal to continue his good momentum gained during last week's ATP 250 event in Estoril, where the Norwegian took his first title in 2023. The world's number 4 eliminated Botic Van De Zandschulp in straight sets, but this match was far from easy for Ruud, as both sets were really tight and intense battle. Ruud won first set 7-5 after 64 minutes of play, while second one was even longer, as it ended up in tiebreak, being 73 minutes long. Holger Rune had no issues to prevail against Dominic Thiem. The former Roland Garros runner-up is seemingly coming back to decent form, but it was still not enough today, as Rune won the one-sided match 6-2 6-4.
The match between Jannik Sinner and Diego Schwartzman was expected to be a possible highlight of the day, but it not happened as the Argentinian was struggling with a shoulder injury. First set ended up after 22 minutes with quick 6-0 win for Sinner. Second one was even shorter, as Schwartzman withdrew when being 1-3 down. The Italians did not need to spend too much time on court to book their places in tomorrow's R16. Lorenzo Musetti eliminated his fellowcountry Luca Nardi without losing any single game. The world's number 21 needed just 62 minutes to end up the match against the qualifier with a score 6-0 6-0, which is quite unusual on this level of competition. The next stop will be on the opposite extreme of difficulty, as Musetti will try to make an upset against Novak Djokovic tomorrow.
Here are the Wednesday's action highlights: