Multiple Monte Carlo Masters champions Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal stepped on the court one after another in the Principality on Thursday, with a completely different outcome! Novak suffered one of the toughest losses in the last couple of years, with Daniel Evans stunning the world's leading player 6-4, 7-5 in just over two hours.
On the other hand, Rafael Nadal played on a much higher level to oust Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 6-1 in 55 minutes and advance into the quarter-final. It was Nadal's 391st Masters 1000 victory and the 73rd from 78 Monte Carlo encounters, dominating from start to finish and continuing where he left against Federico Delbonis on Wednesday.
Rafa lost 26 points overall and stormed over the rival with five breaks, losing only eight points behind the initial shot to sail over the top in under an hour. Nadal grabbed the 14th victory in 15 matches against the Bulgarian, overpowering the opponent in every segment and sailing into the last eight.
Nadal won 28 out of 41 points in the opener, dropping four points behind the initial shot and delivering two breaks for a massive advantage in under half an hour. Rafa hit five winners and three unforced errors, building his game around Grigor's errors and drawing 13 in the unforced segment.
Rafael Nadal ousted Grigor Dimitrov in 55 minutes.
The Spaniard held at love in the first game with a forehand down the line winner and broke the Bulgarian in the next one when Grigor hit three double faults! Rafa secured the third game with a service winner and opened a 4-0 gap when Dimitrov sprayed a forehand mistake, using his opponent's five double faults so far for a massive lead.
The Spaniard placed a forehand winner for a 5-0 advantage in 18 minutes and sealed the opener nine minutes later with a service winner at 5-1. Dimitrov opened the second set with a wild forehand and placed a backhand wide to offer Nadal a break.
The 11-time winner confirmed the advantage with a hold at 15 and produced another break following Grigor's wild forehand that landed meters away from the court. The Bulgarian looked flat and without a single atom of energy to help him fight against such a mighty opponent, although he broke his racquet after that point to at least show some emotion.
The Spaniard closed the fourth game with an ace and had a chance to grab another break in the next one. Out of a sudden, Grigor claimed four straight points to bring the game home and avoid a bagel. Returning at 5-1, Rafa moved over the top with a forehand down the line winner in style.