>> Wednesday, April 18, 2012
World #1 Novak Djokovic's bid to claim the title in the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournaments starts on Wednesday when he goes to court for a second round action against Andreas Seppi of Italy. Djokovic is seen as the man with the highest chance of ending the seven-year reign of Spain's Rafael Nadal at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. No player in the world has won back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Monte-Carlo. With Djokovic lifting the trophy in Miami this season, he goes into Monte-Carlo with a chance of achieving this rare feat.
Djokovic has indicated that he is well prepared for the transition from North America's hard courts to Europe's clay court. Last year, Nadal captured his seventh straight tournament win at Monte-Carlo in the absence of Djokovic. However, in the two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournaments to follow - the Mutua Madrid Open and Internazionali BNL d’Italia - Nadal surrendered his titles with straight-sets losses to Djokovic in both finals. In a recent interview, Djokovic acknowledged that "...Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay. He’s the king of clay. He’s the best tennis player ever to play on this surface and one of the best tennis players ever, so that says enough."
Arguably, the top-seeded Djokovic's section of the draw is more difficult than that of Nadal's. He is expected to face 16th-seed Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round before a match-up with Spain's #2 player, world #5 David Ferrer, in the quarterfinals. On the other quadrant in the top half, world #4 Andy Murray lurks as Djokovic's possible semifinal opponent. Murray has already reached the semifinals of this tennis tournament twice but the Scot has yet to win an ATP title on clay. Players challengin Murray on his quadrant are sixth-seed Tomas Berdych, 12th-seed Kei Nishikori, and former semifinals and fifteenth-seed Jurgen Melzer.
Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Results - Djokovic Top Half Results | Tuesday, 17 April 2012 Update: World #3 Andy Murray advanced to the third round with a straight set victory over Viktor Troicki of Serbia 60 63. Murray was one of the first seeded players to advance to the third round of the tournament. On the same day, two seeded players in the top half of the draw also advanced. Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Albert Ramos of Spain 62 75 while Jurgen Melzer eliminated LUKASZ KUBOT also in straight sets 62 75.