ATP Monte Carlo: Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev advance. Ruud tops Schwartzman

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ATP Monte Carlo: Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev advance. Ruud tops Schwartzman

The 5th seed Alexander Zverev is through to the third round in Monte Carlo, beating Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 38 minutes. Zverev clinched the 70th Masters 1000 victory after fending off seven out of nine break chances, stealing over half of the return points to grab five breaks and control the scoreboard.

Alexander had 26 winners and 23 unforced errors, forging the triumph in the quickest rallies up to four strokes, as the Italian stayed in touch in the more advanced ones. The german produced two comfortable holds at the beginning of the encounter and claimed four straight points at 2-1 to secure a break and move in front.

Zverev saved two break points in game five and lost the ground a bit in those moments, allowing Sonego to break back in game seven with a forehand down the line winner. Alexander stayed focused and grabbed a break in game eight for another lead, closing the opener with a forehand drive-volley winner in game nine for 6-3.

They traded breaks at the beginning of the second set, and it was Zverev who shifted into a higher gear from 3-2 down, rattling off four straight games and moving over the top with breaks in games seven and nine. Andrey Rublev ousted a qualifier Salvatore Caruso 6-3, 6-2 in 68 minutes, never losing serve and delivering three breaks that carried him home.

Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev made winning start in Monte Carlo.

The Russian made over 20 unforced errors but that wasn't an obstacle for him, hitting a service winner in 35% of his serves and overpowering the rival in the shortest exchanges to make a winning start.

Andrey delivered one good hold after another in the opener and scored an early break in game two following Caruso's double fault. Serving at 5-3, the Russian hit four service winners to wrap up the opener, hoping for more of the same in set number two.

Rublev landed a forehand crosscourt winner at 1-1 in set number to move in front, firing another in game five to extend the advantage and moving over the top with another powerful forehand at 5-2. The Norwegian Casper Ruud played on a high level to beat Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3 in 65 minutes, earning his eighth Masters 1000 win.

Ruud lost only 11 points behind the initial shot and grabbed three breaks to topple the 7th seed and move into the last 16. Casper had the upper hand in the shortest and more extended rallies, taming his strokes nicely and taking advantage of over 20 unforced errors from the Argentine.

Pablo Carreno Busta won the title in Marbella last week, and he is off to a great start in Monte Carlo too, beating Karen Khachanov 6-2, 6-3 to remain on the title course.