Indian Wells champion and the 4th seed Dominic Theim is safely through to the third round in Monte Carlo, defeating Martin Klizan 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 24 minutes for the second consecutive win over the Slovak. The crowd couldn't enjoy in the most beautiful tennis, with around 20 winners in total and more than 50 errors, 40 of those from Klizan who never found his rhythm.
Dominic dropped just nine points on serve, never facing a break point and taking half of the return points, stealing Martin's serve four times from 11 chances to sail through the finish line. Thiem forged the advantage in the shortest and most extended rallies and broke a left-hander in the ten-minute opening game to set the tone for the rest of the encounter.
Klizan hit a double fault in game three to fall further behind and the Austrian claimed the opener with another break in game seven for a rock-solid start. The pressure was on Klizan in set number two as well and he lost five points in a row in the tenth game to hand the break and the win to Thiem after a wild forehand.
Dusan Lajovic defeated the struggling Belgian David Goffin 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 28 minutes, losing serve twice and securing four breaks for straight sets triumph. Lajovic had a clear lead in the shortest points up to four strokes, hitting a lot of service winners and good groundstrokes after the serve to have the upper hand in the rallies and keep Goffin away from the comfort zone.
The Serb was a break down earlier in the second set and he bounced back even stronger, taking six of the last eight games to march into the third round. The only American in the draw, Taylor Fritz, toppled Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 26 minutes, creating 17 break points against the struggling Argentinian and converting six of those to erase three mediocre service games and secure one of his best wins on the slowest surface in a career so far.
Heading to Monte Carlo with no Masters 1000 wins under his belt, Cameron Norrie defeated Marton Fucsovics 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 45 minutes for the place in the last 16. Marton was 5-2 up in the opener, wasting a set point at 5-3 and dropping the tie break 7-3 to hand the opener to the Briton who controlled the scoreboard in set number two for the tenth victory of the season.
Entering only the fourth ATP tournament this season, Grigor Dimitrov ousted Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 57 minutes, taking five points more than the German and prevailing in the pivotal moments for Masters 1000 win number 85.
Both players served under 50% and they were impressive under pressure while saving break points, taking down 15 out of 18 to stay in touch all the time. Struff saved two break points in the 12th game of the opening set but his efforts were in vain, with Grigor grabbing a tie break 7-2, scoring an early break in set number two that he kept all the time to book the place in the next round.