MONACO — Aslan Karatsev set up a second-round match with Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Monte Carlo Masters by defeating Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-4 as rain played havoc with the clay-court tournament’s schedule.
Karatsev, who rose to 29th in the ATP rankings from No. 194 since August, saved all four break points he faced. He broke his opponent immediately and led 4-3 in the opening set when rain interrupted play for more than four hours.
Once back from the locker room, Karatsev won two straight games to seal the opening set. The right-handed Russian hit a total of 23 winners and closed out the match with a cross-court backhand.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina also advanced with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Alex de Minaur and John Millman defeated Ugo Humbert 6-3, 6-3.
Rafael Nadal is seeking a record-extending 12th title at the Monte Carlo country club and the 20-time Grand Slam champion could meet top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the Australian Open champion, in the final. Djokovic beat Nadal in the 2013 final and won the tournament again in 2015, while Nadal’s 11th title came in 2018.
Both have a bye into the second round.
Nadal was beaten by defending champion Fabio Fognini in the semifinals in 2019, and the tournament was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fognini was set to start the defense of his title against Miomir Kecmanovic.
PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.
The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.
He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.
The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.
“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”
Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.
PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.
An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.
The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.
The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.
Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.
That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.
After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.
“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”