Wednesday Preview: Nadal, Murray, Wawrinka In Action
• DAY 4 PREVIEW: Second round play concludes on Wednesday at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters with World No. 1 Andy Murray, No. 3/2014 winner Stan Wawrinka and No. 4 seed/nine-time champion Rafael Nadal the headliners on Court Rainier III. Overall there are 12 singles matches, all involving a seed, on the schedule. Seeds are 11-1 in the first three days of the tournament.
Leading off the day is Wawrinka and Czech Republic No. 2 Jiri Vesely, who lost the previous meeting to the Swiss No. 1 in the 1R of the 2014 US Open. Wawrinka captured his lone ATP Masters 1000 title here three years ago (d. Federer) and last month was runner-up at the first ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season in Indian Wells (l. to Federer). One year ago Vesely posted the biggest win of his career over No. 1 Djokovic at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in the 2R. And he finds himself in a similar position against No. 3 Wawrinka. Vesely is 2-14 vs. Top 10 opponents.
In the next match, Murray brings a 5-0 head-to-head record against Gilles Muller. This is their first meeting on clay. Murray returns to action from an elbow injury for the first time since his 2R loss to Vasek Pospisil at Indian Wells on Mar. 12. Murray is 12-3 this season, winning in Dubai on Mar. 4. Murray is a three-time semi-finalist here (2009, 2011, 2016) and he is the top seed for the first time. Over the past two years Murray is 35-4 on clay after compiling a 63-37 record from 2005-14. Muller is 9-38 lifetime vs. Top 10 foes (0-7 vs. World No. 1s). The 33-year-old from Luxembourg became the first player from his country to win an ATP World Tour title in Sydney (d. Evans).
In the third match on, British No. 3 Kyle Edmund takes on Nadal for the first time. Edmund is looking for his first career Top 10 victory (0-9) and this is his first meeting against a Top 10 opponent on clay. Nadal is the reigning champion and overall nine-time Monte-Carlo winner, including eight straight from 2005-12. He has a 58-4 record. He comes in with a 19-5 match record on the season with three runner-up showings: Australian Open (l. to Federer), Acapulco (l. to Querrey) and ATP Masters 1000 Miami (l. to Federer). Nadal is playing in his 400th career match on clay (365-34) and he has the best winning percentage on the surface (.915) in the Open Era.
In the final match on, No. 8 seed Grigor Dimitrov looks for his second win against German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff. The Bulgarian won 61 63 in 2013 Stockholm. Dimitrov is a two-time quarter-finalist in Monaco (2013, 2015) and two-time ATP World Tour winner this season (Brisbane, Sofia). He comes in with a 17-5 match record on the season and he’s trying to snap a three-match losing streak. Struff is trying to earn his biggest win of the season against the No. 11-ranked Bulgarian.
On Court Des Princes, No. 9 seed Tomas Berdych opens against 39-year-old Tommy Haas, who became the oldest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 match on Tuesday (d. Paire). This is their fifth meeting (2-2).
Next on is [WC] Jeremy Chardy and No. 5 seed Marin Cilic. Their head-to-head is also 2-2. In the third match, No. 11 Lucas Pouille looks for his second win against Italian No. 2 Paolo Lorenzi. Last on is a first-time meeting between Argentine Diego Schwartzman and No. 12 Roberto Bautista Agut.
On Court 2, No. 6 seed Dominic Thiem tries to even his record (1-2) against Robin Haase and #NextGenATP star No. 14 seed Alexander Zverev plays Feliciano Lopez for the first time.