Top seed Rafael Nadal is one step closer to regaining his coveted Monte Carlo title, as he began his week at the Monaco event with a victory over Teymuraz Gabashvili. Next for Nadal is a third round clash with Andreas Seppi, with the Spaniard leading 4-1 in the head-to-head series, however the two have not met on the tour in over five years. Check out the Nadal vs Seppi H2H matches.
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal breezed past his Russian adversary 6-4, 6-1 in 73 minutes. He was initially down 1-3 in the opening set but quickly found his form and reeled off the next nine games to snatch the opening set and a big lead in the second. He is coming off a failed attempt to capture his fist ever Masters 1000 title in Miami, as he lost to nemesis Novak Djokovic in straight sets. On top of that, he will have to overcome the fact that he, eight-time Monte Carlo champion, lost at the event for the first time since 2004 last year, when he was toppled by Djokovic in the historic encounter. As he goes deeper into the draw, the rematch becomes more likely to become a reality.
Italian No. 1 Andreas Seppi battled past Spain’s Pablo Andujar 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 48 minutes to set up the third round encounter with Nadal. The world No. 35 has already put forth his career-best performance in Monte Carlo, as he had previously never been past the second round of this Masters 1000 event, yet will now meet the top seed for a spot in the quarter-final round.
This marks the sixth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Nadal leading the head-to-head series 4-1. All three of their clay court encounters went in favour of Nadal, who only dropped a set on that surface against the Italian back in 2005. That clay court cominance will likely extend into their upcoming match.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets