(April 18, 2013) Eight-time defending Monte-Carlo Masters champion Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak at the tournament to 44 matches, while No. 1 Novak Djoovic had to rally from a set down for a second straight day to move into the quarterfinals. No. 2 seed Andy Murray was not so fortunate falling to No. 13 Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-2.
Novak Djokovic still nursing a twisted right ankle rallied past Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday.
“It was very difficult for me today,” Djokovic said to media. “Another tough match. I am trying to take things day by day. I didn’t know what to expect today and I’m really glad that I won.”
“It’s another big test obviously, again a two-hour match,” the No. 1 continued. “Obviously I’m not physically out there feeling my best. Somehow feels that I always miss that half a step. But I’m trying. I’m fighting. After I lost the first set today, I tried to find that inner strength. I found it again. So that’s a positive thing. Every day brings a new challenge and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Djokovic will face Jarkko Nieminen in the quarterfinals. Nieminen stunned No. 5 seed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4).
The left-hander Finn is into his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarterfinal since 2006 Paris.
It was another easy win For Nadal on Thursday as the 8-time Monte-Carlo champion stopped Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-4. Nadal will take on Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals.
“He’s playing well,” Nadal said of Bulgaria’s Dimitrov. “He’s able to play very well, very aggressive, very good technique. He’s (a) complete player.”
For No. 2 seed Andy Murray, it’s a match he’ll want to forget. In less than an hour the Brit fell to Stanislas Warwinka 6-1, 6-2.
“Just looked at the stats … 24 unforced errors is far too many,“ said a disappointed Murray. “That’s a set’s worth. That’s where half the points went. “I hope that’s not going to be the case over the next five, six weeks. I’ve had tough losses on the clay before and I’ve come back well from them. Hopefully today will be the same.”
“He’s an amazing player. He’s always tough to beat,” said Wawrinka to media. “Therefore, to beat Andy that easy was a big surprise, for sure. I’m playing really good, really strong, really confident with my game. I know what he’s looking for in his game. He’s playing slow, he’s playing from the baseline, he’s not putting so much pressure. For me on clay, it’s perfect.”
The loss means that Murray will fall to No. 3 in the rankings next week, surpassed by Roger Federer.
Italy’s Fabio Fognini recorded the biggest upset of his career as he knocked out fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2. It’s his second career win over a top ten player.
RESULTS – THURSDAY, 18 APRIL, 2013
Singles – Third Round
 N Djokovic (SRB) d  J Monaco (ARG) 46 62 62
 S Wawrinka (SUI) d  A Murray (GBR) 61 62
 R Nadal (ESP) d  P Kohlschreiber (GER) 62 64
F Fognini (ITA) d  T Berdych (CZE) 64 62
J Nieminen (FIN) d  [WC] J del Potro (ARG) 64 46 76(4)
 J Tsonga (FRA) d J Melzer (AUT) 63 60
 R Gasquet (FRA) d  M Cilic (CRO) 75 64
G Dimitrov (BUL) d F Mayer (GER) 62 64
Doubles – Quarter-finals
M Raonic (CAN) / B Tomic (AUS) d  R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) 76(7) 63
Doubles – Second Round
 A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) d C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) 64 61
 M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) d I Dodig (CRO) / R Stepanek (CZE) 62 62
J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND) d  M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) 62 63
J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d  A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) 76(7) 64
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 19 APRIL, 2013
COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
 J Tsonga (FRA) vs  S Wawrinka (SUI)
G Dimitrov (BUL) vs  R Nadal (ESP)
F Fognini (ITA) vs  R Gasquet (FRA)
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs J Nieminen (FIN)
COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
 M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) vs D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP)
J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs  A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED)
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND)