2014 Monte Carlo Masters champion Stan Wawrinka passed the first round in Monte Carlo, Tuesday (11/4/2023) WIB, while qualifier Ivan Gakhov confirmed his meeting with world number one Novak Djokovic.
Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, slumped to 90 in the ATP rankings but booked his second round spot with a 5-7 6-3 6-4 loss to Tallon Griekspoor.
Other tennis players who also passed the first hurdle in the French Open warm-up tournament are Wimbledon 2021 finalists Matteo Berrettini and Dominic Thiem.
However, Andy Murray’s participation in the Monte Carlo Masters ended after losing to 14th seed from Australia Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-3.
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Gakhov defeated American Mackenzie McDonald 7-6 (8/6), 2-6, 6-3 to set up a second round meeting with Djokovic, a tough battle for Gakhov with a nearly 200 point gap between the two.
The Serb has not competed since losing in the semifinals in Dubai in early March to Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic was forced to miss the American tournaments in Indian Well and Miami due to his anti-vaccination stance against COVID-19. She says she is “motivated” to start the clay court season when she targets her 23rd Grand Slam at Roland Garros.
Djokovic’s road to a third Monte Carlo title has been paved in the absence of 11-times champion Rafael Nadal and Spanish teenage star Carlos Alcaraz through injury.
Wawrinka, who will next face American eighth seed Taylor Fritz, said he was delighted to be entering the tournament.
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The 38-year-old Wawrinka, who beat Roger Federer for the 2014 title, has failed to get past the second round since 2017. After two seasons of injury, he is desperate to make up for lost time.