Mektic/Pavic Kick-Start Title Defence

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic got their Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title defence off to a smooth start on Wednesday with a straight-sets win over defending singles champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and Petros Tsitsipas.

The Croatian pairing arrived in Monte Carlo hunting a first title of 2022 but they showed no signs of pressure as they clinched a 6-3 6-3 second-round victory over the Greek brothers in 72 minutes.

Mektic and Pavic saved the only break point they faced in the match as they dominated on serve, even when under pressure. The second seeds won 89 per cent (16/18) points behind their second delivery, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

Mektic and Pavic’s 2021 triumph in Monte Carlo was the second of three Masters 1000 titles they won last year. Mektic in particular knows his way around the Monaco clay, having also won the title in 2019 alongside Franko Skugor.

Mektic and Pavic will now face sixth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the quarter-finals, after the Colombian pair beat Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 6-2, 6-4.

Two-time semi-finalists Cabal and Farah are yet to lift a trophy in 2022, but the 2019 Wimbledon and US Open champions proved too strong for Gonzalez and Molteni in Monaco as they kept their bid for a third Masters 1000 title on track.

In Wednesday’s other second-round match, Tim Puetz and Michael Venus overcame Aslan Karatsev and John Peers in a Match tie-break to book their spot in the last eight.

Reigning Rolex Paris Masters champions Puetz and Venus are seeking a second title of the year after lifting the trophy in Dubai in February. The fifth seeds face either top-ranked pairing Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury or Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar in the quarter-finals.

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