Daniil Medvedev and Casper Ruud advance in Monte-Carlo

Daniil Medvedev and Casper Ruud advance in Monte-Carlo

Daniil Medvedev did not have things all his own way on Wednesday at the Monte-Carlo Masters against Gael Monfils, but found a way to reach the third round.

The fourth seed batted off a mid-match resurgence from the dynamic Frenchman to record a 6-2 6-4 win.

"When you play Gael he is very good in defence, so sometimes you are scared to attack him because that is what he loves doing," Medvedev said. 

"It was a tactical game here and there but I felt good. I played good speed where I could defend well and not give him two easy balls."

Medvedev started quickly in his first clay-court match of the season to race ahead. However, Monfils grew into the match and used support from the vocal local crowd to roar into a 4-1 lead in the second set, producing moments of his trademark magic to make his mark.

With the match heading for a decisive third set, Medvedev dug in. The No.4 player in the PIF ATP Rankings started to make more balls, retrieving Monfils' powerful groundstrokes to turn the set around and advance after one hour and 27 minutes.

Medvedev, who reached the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo last season, will next play Karen Khachanov after the World No. 17 defeated Francisco Cerundolo 4-6 6-4 6-3.

"I think Karen likes [clay] more but I can play well on clay," Medvedev said ahead of his match against Khachanov. 

"Even when I am 45 I can say I have a Rome Masters title, so I can play well on it and I am happy about it. But Karen is a tough opponent."

Medvedev enjoyed success on clay last year, winning his maiden tour-level title on the surface at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome. The 28-year-old is chasing his first trophy of the season this week, with his best result in 2024 a final run at the Australian Open.

Casper Ruud bounced back from a disappointing semi-final defeat to Pedro Martinez in Estoril with a comfortable opening-round win in Monte-Carlo. The eighth seed dispatched Chilean Alejandro Tabilo 6-2 6-4 in one hour and 23 minutes to reach the third round.

Ruud, who won 59 per cent (10/17) of points behind his second serve, will meet 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz following his 21st tour-level victory of the year.

The Norwegian has captured nine of his 10 tour-level titles on clay. The two-time Roland Garros finalist advanced to the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo in 2021.

In other action, Holger Rune was leading 6-3 2-1 when play was suspended for the day due to rain. The 20-year-old, who is competing in his first clay-court match of the season, reached the title match in Monte-Carlo last year.

Grigor Dimitrov, fresh off his final run in Miami, held a 6-4 2-1 advantage against Miomir Kecmanovic when rain halted their match.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic through to the third round of the Monte-Carlo Masters