(April 17, 2013) Rafael Nadal began his quest for a ninth Monte-Carlo Masters title on Wednesday by extending his winning streak there to 43, while No. 1 Novak Djokovic was extended to three sets on a shaky ankle.
The eight-time had few problems with Marinko Matosevic, dispatching the Australian 6-1, 6-2.
“I played well at the beginning with the right intensity, with no mistakes,” said the Spaniard to media.
“I was trying to do the right things to find a good feeling on the ball, to find the right rhythm. I played to the right places, and that gave me confidence.
“I didn’t play my best game, the first game of the second, and he played well, so he had the break. And after that he played well for a while in the next games. Then he had good chances, two break points for 3-0. It was not an easy moment. I played one good point and I was able to come back.”
Nadal is on a 15-match winning streak. He’ll play Philipp Kohlschreiber next.
Djokovic, who twisted an ankle while playing for Serbia in the Davis Cup on April 7 in clinching a place in the Davis Cup semifinals, played 2 hours and 15 minutes for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 over Mikhail Youzhny.
“Today was a big test. My ankle survived, I’m in the next round. That’s what matters,” Djokovic said. “I know that my game is still not there, obviously, and I have a lot of ups and downs through the match. Physically also, I think I’ve put double the effort than I do usually because, you know, I still don’t feel comfortable.”
“You know, protection, the tape, was good. So I managed to overcome that pain and go through the match,” Djokovic continued. “I think that my ankle is (getting better) as the days are passing by. Obviously, I will have to play a match every day.”
“I’m just happy to compete, to be honest. I didn’t know if I’m going to be playing the tournament up to yesterday, basically,” said Djokovic who resides in Monte-Carlo.
“For me it’s important not to have a bigger risk of injuring myself. I enjoy this tournament very much. As I said before, if it was not Monaco I would consider not playing.”
World No. 2 Andy Murray moved into the third round with a 6-1, 6-4 victory in 73 minutes over Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Murray is now 20-2 on the year.
“I won the close games, which was important,” said the Scot. “I didn’t make too many mistakes. It was solid. I returned well, served well. If you do those two things well on any surface. it gives you a good base to work from. It was a good start.”
RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 17 APRIL, 2013
Singles – Second Round
 N Djokovic (SRB) d M Youzhny (RUS) 46 61 64
 A Murray (GBR) d [Q] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 61 64
 R Nadal (ESP) d M Matosevic (AUS) 61 62
 T Berdych (CZE) d M Granollers (ESP) 75 64
 M Cilic (CRO) d K Anderson (RSA) 62 63
J Melzer (AUT) d  N Almagro (ESP) 64 62
J Nieminen (FIN) d  M Raonic (CAN) 63 16 76(3)
 S Wawrinka (SUI) d [Q] A Montanes (ESP) 61 61
 J Monaco (ARG) d E Gulbis (LAT) 60 36 63
F Fognini (ITA) d [Q] A Ramos (ESP) 63 75
F Mayer (GER) d R Bautista Agut (ESP) 57 64 64
Doubles – Second Round
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) / F Mayer (GER) 63 62
D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d  M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 46 62 10-4
M Raonic (CAN) / B Tomic (AUS) d  M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 62 64
Doubles – First Round
C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) d J Knowle (AUT) / F Nielsen (DEN) 64 76(7)
SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 18 APRIL, 2013
COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
 J Tsonga (FRA) vs J Melzer (AUT)
 P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs  R Nadal (ESP)
 S Wawrinka (SUI) vs  A Murray (GBR)
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs  J Monaco (ARG)
COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
 T Berdych (CZE) vs F Fognini (ITA)
G Dimitrov (BUL) vs F Mayer (GER)
 M Cilic (CRO) vs  R Gasquet (FRA)
J Nieminen (FIN) vs  [WC] J Del Potro (ARG)
COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
 A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB)
J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND) vs  M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) – After Suitable Rest
 R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) vs M Raonic (CAN) / B Tomic (AUS)
COURT 9 start 12:00 noon
 M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) vs I Dodig (CRO) / R Stepanek (CZE)
C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) vs  A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED)