While the rest of the top players struggled in Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal continues to make light work off the field. He put in a dominant performance in the 6-2 6-4 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber. He continues to remain dominant on his first serving, dropping just three points in the whole match and not facing a single break point. He made an early breakthrough at 1-1, taking the third break chance to seize control of the set and added the insurance break late on but it wouldn’t be needed as he served out the set with a hold to 15.
Kohlschreiber upped his game in the second to ensure it was a much closer affair with just a solitary break deciding it. Serving for a 4-3 lead, the German was finally broken after Nadal hit a sweet backhand pass to end the match as a contest. The players traded love holds before Nadal comfortably closed out the match to move into the next round where Grigor Dimitrov awaits.
Richard Gasquet was also a winner in straights, defeating Marin Cilic 7-5 6-4. It was a scrappy start to the match with four breaks in a row after Gasquet held to begin the match. From then on, things slowed down with just one break chance for either player until it came to Cilic serving for a tie break. The Croatian fell 0-40 down to give Gasquet three set points, the second of which would be taken to give him the set in the first career meeting between the pair.
Gasquet rushed into a 3-0 lead to begin the second set, only to find himself pegged back by losing three games of his own before stopping the rot and holding for 4-3. Next time round, Gasquet fell down 15-40 on serve but Cilic would be unable to take advantage and would be punished for it. Gasquet earned a 15-40 on return which Cilic would not be able to save, with the second match point being converted.