Friday Preview: Djokovic, Nadal Eye SF Berths
• After upsetting Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka respectively, No. 15 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas and No. 16 seed Pablo Cuevas seek their first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Friday. Ramos-Vinolas meets No. 5 seed Marin Cilic and Cuevas takes on No. 11 seed Lucas Pouille, with one of those four men assured a spot in his first Monte-Carlo final.
• Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and two-time champion Novak Djokovic remain in the bottom half of the draw. Nadal meets 5-foot-7 Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals. Schwartzman’s three wins this week will ensure his rise into the Top 40 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday. He is 0-9 lifetime against Top 10 opponents (2-21 in sets).
• Following three-set wins in his first two matches, Djokovic clashes with No. 10 seed David Goffin. The Belgian leads all players on the ATP World Tour with 22 victories this season, but he owns an 0-5 FedEx ATP Head 2 Head record against Djokovic (1-11 in sets). Like Schwartzman, Goffin seeks the biggest win of his career by ranking. He is 0-14 lifetime against Top 3 opponents.
• Wild cards Romain Arneodo and Hugo Nys meet 2016 finalists Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in one of four doubles quarter-finals to be played on Court Des Princes. Arneodo, a 24-year-old representing Monaco, also reached the quarter-finals in 2014 with countryman Benjamin Balleret. The World No. 851 bids to become the first ATP doubles semi-finalist from Monaco in the Open Era. Jean-Rene Lisnard is the only Monaco player to reach a singles semi-final (2003 Chennai).