Rafa To Meet Grigor In Third Round
Day 5 at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters features a stacked schedule, with all third-round singles matches taking place on Thursday at the Monte-Carlo Country Club.
Second seed Rafael Nadal continues his quest for an unprecedented 12th title at this event against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. The Spaniard leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head 11-1 and has won their past four matches, in addition to all four of their previous battles on clay. Their most recent meeting took place in the 2018 Monte-Carlo semi-finals, which saw Nadal drop just five games in his victory. Dimitrov always brings his best tennis to Monte-Carlo and has won his first two matches this week without dropping a set.
“Tomorrow is another good test against Grigor, so let’s see,” said Nadal. “I need to play well again.”
Top seed Novak Djokovic looks to move closer to a third Monte-Carlo title when he plays American Taylor Fritz. The World No. 1 needed more than two hours to get through a tight opening-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber, but said he believed the challenge was exactly what he needed. He’ll need to continue to raise his level against Fritz, who put in an impressive performance to defeat Argentine Diego Schwartzman in straight sets on Wednesday.
An intriguing battle wraps up play on Court Rainier III as third seed Alexander Zverev of Germany squares off with 13th seed Fabio Fognini. Zverev hasn’t dropped a set to Fognini in their two previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings and looked dangerous in his opening-round win against #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. However, the Italian is at his best on clay and has produced plenty of big upsets in his career.
The opening match of the day sees sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece take on 10th seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia. Medvedev is undefeated in their three FedEx ATP Head2Head clashes, all of which took place last year. The Russian is one of the most in-form players this week and has dropped just five games in his first two matches. Tsitsipas will be eager to turn the tables on Medvedev and will take comfort in the fact they haven’t played on clay before.
Other matches highlighting Thursday play include fourth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria against Dusan Lajovic of Serbia and ninth seed Borna Coric of Croatia taking on Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France. Coric has spent more than six hours on court for his first two rounds, while Herbert defeated Kei Nishikori on Wednesday for the third Top 10 win of his career.
ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019
COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
 Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs  Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)
 Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Taylor Fritz (USA)
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs  Rafael Nadal (ESP)
 Fabio Fognini (ITA) vs  Alexander Zverev (GER)
COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
Guido Pella (ARG) vs  Marco Cecchinato (ITA)
Cameron Norrie (GBR) vs [Q] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
 Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) vs  Borna Coric (CRO)
COURT 2 start 11:00 am
Diego Schwartzman (ARG) / Joao Sousa (POR) vs  Henri Kontinen (FIN) / John Peers (AUS)
After Suitable Rest – Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) / Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs  Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) / Robert Farah (COL)
After Suitable Rest – Marton Fucsovics (HUN) / Guido Pella (ARG) vs Radu Albot (MDA) / Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)
After Suitable Rest – [WC] Jurgen Melzer (AUT) / Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs  Lukasz Kubot (POL) / Marcelo Melo (BRA)