Pella Claims Second Straight Cilic Win
In a rematch of their epic five-set Wimbledon encounter last year, Guido Pella defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 on Tuesday to advance to the third round of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
The 28-year-old, who rallied from two sets down to beat Cilic at SW19 last year, broke Cilic’s serve on eight occasions in Monaco to improve to 13-3 on clay this year. Earlier this season, Pella enjoyed great success on this surface in South America. The Argentine did not drop a set en route to his first ATP Tour title at the Brasil Open (d. Garin) and also reached the championship match at the inaugural Cordoba Open (l. to Londero).
In his next match, Pella will try to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final. The World No. 35 will meet last year’s Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato, who rallied from 0-6, 0-2 down to beat Stan Wawrinka 0-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Melzer/Thiem Lead Doubles Winners
Austrians Jurgen Melzer and Dominic Thiem had lost their only two doubles matches as a team heading into the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. But the countrymen prevailed on Tuesday, defeating German Philipp Kohlschreiber and Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-5.
Melzer, who triumphed alongside Franko Skugor last week in Marrakech, and Thiem won 83 per cent of their first-serve points, while Kohlschreiber and Verdasco captured just 63 per cent of those points. Melzer and Thiem will next play second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo or Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.
Moldovan Radu Albot and Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili ousted eighth seeds Raven Klaasen and Joe Salisbury 6-3, 6-7(5), 10-7. Klaasen typically plays with Michael Venus and Salisbury competes alongside Rajeev Ram. Albot and Basilashvili will try to reach the quarter-finals when they face Hungarian Marton Fucsovics and Argentine Guido Pella, who defeated Italians Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3.
Nikola Mektic, who won the BNP Paribas Open with Horacio Zeballos, and Skugor moved past Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-5. The seventh seeds will play Russian Karen Khachanov and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez next.
The other teams that advanced on Tuesday are Argentine Diego Schwartzman/Portuguese Joao Sousa and Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner/Russian Daniil Medvedev.