Hoping to make it nine Monte Carlo titles in a row, Rafael Nadal made light work of Marinko Matosevic in his opening match with a 6-1 6-2 defeat over the Australian in just under an hour. Nadal was quick out of the blocks, breaking twice for a 4-0 lead and dropping just two points in the first four games before Matosevic got on the board. Another love hold saw Matosevic serving to stay in the set but he would fail to hold on from 40-15 up as Nadal broke for the third time to take the set.
Surprisingly, it was Matosevic who broke first in the second set and held to take a 2-0 lead but it wouldn’t last long. A lengthy game three saw Nadal eventually hold after facing multiple break points and he would push on from there, not dropping another game until the end of the match. A sixth break at 5-2* would close out the match for the Spaniard, who faces Philipp Kohlschreiber in the next round.
Marin Cilic had a similarly comfortable time against Kevin Anderson, defeating the South African 6-2 6-3. Cilic dropped just two points on serve in a comfortable first set. After Anderson held for 2-2, he would not win another game for the rest of the set getting broken twice. The first saw him save two break points from 15-40 but he would eventually buckle after failing to convert on numerous game points. Serving to stay in the set, Anderson fell down 15-40 once more but would not be able to hold on.
It was more of the same to begin the second, with Cilic taking the first three games to extend his run to seven before Anderson eventually held. Another run of eight points from the next nine saw him all but end the match as a contest as he served to close out the match with the insurance break behind him. It would be needed as he threw in a poor service game to find himself broken but he would eventually finish the match off next time round, taking match point number 2 to book a match with Richard Gasquet.