Sports

Pressure of top spot has not got to me, insists defeated Murray

Pressure of top spot has not got to me, insists defeated Murray

And you would have got some decent odds on the Spaniard to come away with a win after Murray raced into a 4-0 lead in the final set.

Monte Carlo was Murray's first tournament since recovering from an elbow injury and with the French Open fast approaching, more competitive action on the clay would have undoubtedly been invaluable.

Andy Murray was still a teenager ranked in the 500s when Roger Federer first ascended to the No. 1 ranking in early 2004.

Murray, the French Open finalist previous year, has never won here, while the fourth-seeded Nadal is aiming for a 10th title in Monte Carlo.

Nadal had never lost more than four games in a set in his opening match at the tournament but, after breezing through the opener, was blown off course by the power of Edmund's forehand.

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Ramos-Vinolas, of Spain, celebrated his first win over a world No. 1 in four chances.

"If you're serving for two weeks 30, 40, 50 kilometres an hour slower than what you're used to, you're going to serve slightly differently and then when you start serving fast again it just takes a bit of time to get into a rhythm", he added. Cuevas hit a sweet forehand victor down the line on the next point and raised his arms in the air after beating Wawrinka in their first-ever meeting.

Nadal, aiming for his 50th clay court title, will next face Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, who defeated Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-0.

"Australia was five sets".

It is not how the 29-year-old envisioned...

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The Spaniard's relief was evident when he secured victory on his first match point. Nadal reiterated his belief that Zverev has the potential to become No. 1.

No. 2 Novak Djokovic, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and defending champion Rafael Nadal were all in action later Thursday.

When Djokovic entered the court last, the weather was already becoming chilly.

"It's great to overcome the big challenge presented to me, with this kind of win, even though I haven't played the way I wanted", a relieved Djokovic said. He started to find range with his one-handed backhand in the second set and leveled the set score when Pouille netted a return.

German veteran Tommy Haas' hopes of following up his first-round victory over Benoit Paire were dashed when he was beaten in three sets by Czech Tomas Berdych who plays Cilic next.

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Nadal, the nine-time French Open champion, looks to be getting things together on his preferred surface too.


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