(April 14, 2016) World No. 2 Andy Murray rallied from a set and two breaks down to beat Benoit Paire 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Thursday. Also advancing were No. 3 Roger Federer, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Rafael Nadal, No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 10 Milos Raonic, No. 13 Gael Monfils, and unseeded Marcel Granollers.
“It was a big win is what it was,” Murray said. “You know, to win from 6-2, 3-0 down, two breaks, when you’re not playing particularly well, it’s a great effort.
“You know, those matches are important. It would have been easy to lose today and get down on myself. But I kept fighting right the way through to the end.
“Definitely, you know, the second set was sort of ups and downs. I didn’t feel like in the third that was the case so much. I mean, I think I broke him twice, he broke me once.
“But, yeah, it was a good one to get through because I could have easily lost today. Fought well, good effort.”
“I think he played a bad game at 3-0 in the second to give me one of the breaks back,” the Scotman noted as the turning point in the match. “I felt like I was in with a chance then. That was really the point of the match where it turned a little bit for me. I mean, there was still a lot of work to be done at that stage. Obviously he served for the match in the third.”
“I made a bad dropshot and a bad volley that wasn’t too difficult,” Paire said. “I lost the game. It was 3-1. I started wondering. It allowed him to get back into the match. I wasn’t playing the simple tennis I was playing from the start. I was no longer waiting for the right shot to come.
“I think I should have won that match and I’m extremely disappointed.”
“I’m playing good matches. I have good results. I’m close to the top players.
“What happened today, I was a bit stressed when it was at the point of trying to close out the match. I made a mistake. I should have just put the ball back into play, for example. I have many regrets.”
Federer had straight forward 6-2, 6-4 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.
“I felt as good as in the first match, or maybe not as good, because I felt a bit tired,” said the world No. 3. “I can feel it in my body right now. I feel a bit soft, without energy.
“But as the match progressed, I felt better and better. Once I made the break, I was able to relax a little more. Bautista Agut, it was the first time I played him. I wasn’t sure whether he would stay far behind or make dropshots. I saw him do that against Chardy. I was playing in a way he couldn’t make those dropshots, so it was a good match.
“I felt good. In the beginning of the second, I could have made more breaks. So it could have gone my way very early.
“I’m happy with what I did. He’s a good player.”
Nadal had to come back from a break in the first set to oust Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-3. The Spaniard overcame 15 of 16 break points against him in the first set.
“The good thing, in my opinion, the best thing is he didn’t play bad the breakpoints,” said Nadal. “It was more that I played well in the breakpoints than he played bad.
“So happy for that because that mean that I was ready to find and take the right decisions in the most important moments. I was able to fight all the moments, no? I never give up in all these tough moments that I had in the first set. So very happy for that.
“I think I played a solid match in general. That’s why I’m in the next round, because the opponent was very hard.”
“I think I played a good match. In terms of level of tennis, was great I think. In terms of fighting spirit and attitude and being ready to accept the mistakes, the good points, the tough moments, was similar way that I played in Indian Wells.
“That was a great continuation against a very tough player. I think he played a great match, too. Was a very good victory for me. Very happy for that.”
Next match for Nadal will be Stan Wawrinka, who beat Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. “Stan, he’s always very dangerous opponent and he’s a great player,” said the 14-time major champion. “I know when he’s playing well, it’s difficult to stop him because he’s able to hit so hard the ball from every part of the court. He’s able to serve so good, too.
“We’ll see. Will be a tough one. I only can think about myself. I have to continue the same way than today, fighting for every point, playing with my strategy. We’ll see if I am able to play like today or maybe little bit better. Let’s see.”
“I will have to play well if I want to have a chance to keep winning,” Wawrinka said about his next match. “Rafa is always tough to play on clay. He’s a left-hander. It’s always complicated to play against him.”
Novak Djokovic’s conqueror has been conquered. Jiri Vesely, who stunned tennis’ top player in the second round lost to Gael Monfils in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.
RESULTS – THURSDAY, 14 APRIL 2016
Singles – Third Round
 A. Murray (GBR) d  B. Paire (FRA) 26 75 75
 R. Federer (SUI) d  R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 62 64
 S. Wawrinka (SUI) d  G. Simon (FRA) 61 62
 R. Nadal (ESP) d  D. Thiem (AUT) 75 63
 J. Tsonga (FRA) d [WC] L. Pouille (FRA) 64 64
 M. Raonic (CAN) d [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) 63 46 76(5)
[LL] M. Granollers (ESP) d  D. Goffin (BEL) 76(1) 64
 G. Monfils (FRA) d J. Vesely (CZE) 61 62
Doubles – Second Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d  J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 62 63
 I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) 76(4) 62
 P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d [WC] R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) ret. (Verdasco – calf)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d  B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 64 63
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 15 APRIL 2016
COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
 M. Raonic (CAN) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
 R. Nadal (ESP) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
 R. Federer (SUI) vs  J. Tsonga (FRA)
 G. Monfils (FRA) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)
COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
 R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs  J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)
After Suitable Rest –  P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR)
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)