Monte Carlo Masters 2024 Day 3 Recap

The third day of the 2024 Rolex Monte Carlos Masters is complete, and Novak Djokovic returned to action with a polished performance against Roman Safiullin.

The play was delayed after heavy morning rain, which created slow, damp conditions, but Djokovic took to his task quickly, creating at least one break point in every return game and recording victory in just one hour and ten minutes.

There were equally swift victories for Alex de Minaur, Seb Korda and Sascha Zverev, all progressing in straight-set matches that lasted just over an hour.

However, the day’s biggest story didn’t involve striking a tennis ball as Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the tournament due to a pronator teres injury in his right forearm.

I first learned of the Spaniard’s issue over the weekend after he cut some of his practices short, so seeing his withdrawal wasn’t a huge surprise.

Lorenzo Sonego will replace him in the draw, and he faces Felix Auger Aliassime in the thirty-two round. Not bad for a lucky loser!

You can see the full results from day three below, select highlights, and Wednesday’s scheduled matches.

Day Three 2024 Monte Carlo Masters Round of 64 & 32 Results

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Winner Loser Scoreline
Novak Djokovic (1) Roman Safiullin 6-1 6-2
Alexander Zverev (4) Sebastian Ofner 6-3 6-4
Hubert Hurkacz (8) Jack Draper 6-4 3-6 7-6(2)
Alex de Minaur (11) Stan Wawrinka (WC) 6-3 6-0
Lorenzo Musetti (23) Arthur Fils 6-3 7-5
Roberto Bautista Agut (Q) Facundo Diaz Acosta (LL) 6-2 6-4
Tomas Martin Etcheverry Nicolas Jarry 6-4 7-5
Jan-Lennard Struff Borna Coric 7-6(2) 6-1
Miomir Kecmanovic Matteo Berrettini (WC) 6-3 6-1
Sebastian Korda Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1 6-2
Gael Monfils (WC) Aleksandar Vukic 7-6(7) 6-3 7-5
Zhizhen Zhang Marcos Giron 6-4 3-6 6-3

Djokovic Demolishes Safiullin

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With 2024 being the year of Sinner, most of the talk around Djokovic has been about the negatives and suggestions his career is on the slide.

However, that talk is far too premature, and the Serb delivered a bit of a masterclass in his 6-1 6-2 demolition of Roman Safiullin in his first match since the loss in Indian Wells.

En route to victory, Djokovic created nineteen breakpoints without facing one on-serve and won 69% of 2nd serve return points in an excellent display. 

While you can’t read too much into the win as Safiullin is far more adept on hard courts than the crushed brick, it sends a message that his game is on the up after a somewhat lacklustre start to the season, by Djokovic’s lofty standards anyway.

I am very pleased, I think even the games that I lost I had break points in those games. It is a really great first match at the start of the clay season. It has always been a little bit up and down. Last year as well, I started off well at this tournament and the second match I lost, so I hope to maintain this rhythm. I have a day tomorrow of training, and I hope to come out in a few days with the same attitude and quality of tennis. Djokovic on his impressive win over Safiullin.

Zverev Masters Ofner

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Sascha Zverev started confidently in his adopted hometown. He advanced to the last sixteen with a 6-3 6-4 win against Sebastian Ofner.

The German now has a 4-0 record against the Austrian in their head-to-head, and while Ofner played nicely, it was relatively plain sailing for the fifth seed, who dropped serve just once when he served for the match at 5-2 in the second set.

Sascha will face Tsitsipas or Etcheverry, who play tomorrow in the last sixteen on Thursday.

Other Matches of Note

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  • De Minaur Mauls Wawrinka: A tough loss for Stan, who struggled big time in the slow, damp conditions as De Minaur handled his ball with ease to move through 6-3 6-0. The Stan from a few years back would manhandle someone of De Minaurs ilk, so it wasn’t fun to watch.
  • Kecmanovic Ends Berrettini’s Run: Matteo Berrettini re-announced himself on tour by winning the title in Marrakech last weekend, but he ran out of gas against Miomir Kecmanovic, who moved up 2-0 in the head-to-head with a 6-3 6-1 victory.
  • Korda Makes Light Work of Davidovich Fokina: Seb Korda dispatched 2022 finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1, 6-2, and he’ll meet Jannik Sinner in the second round.
  • Hurkacz Hauls Himself Past Draper: The Estroil champion was pushed by Jack Draper, eventually prevailing 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) after two hours and 24 minutes. 
  • Struff Sinks Coric: Damp conditions are ideal for the big-hitting German’s power game, as he can still hit through the court even when the balls are heavy. He dispatched Coric 7-6(2) 6-1.
  • Monfils Vaults Past Vukic: There’s still plenty of fight left in La Monf as he recovered from a double break in the third set against the lucky loser Aleksandar Vukic, who was drafted in at the last possible minute. Nothing is ever simple with Monfils, but you know he’ll play well in back-to-wall scenarios, and he began firing winners from 1-4 down to recover to a 6-7 (7), 6-3, 7-5 win.

Monte Carlo Masters 2024 Day 3 Round of 32 Matches

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  • Alexei Popryin vs Andrey Rublev (6)
  • Sebastian Korda vs Jannik Sinner (2)
  • Gael Monfils (WC) vs Daniil Medvedev (4)
  • Holger Rune (7) vs Summit Nagal (Q)
  • Alex de Minaur (11) vs Tallon Griekspoor
  • Tomas Martin Etcheverry vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (12)
  • Alejandro Tabilo vs Casper Ruud (8)
  • Miomir Kecmanovic vs Grigor Dimitrov (9)
  • Karen Khachanov (15) vs Francisco Cerundolo
  • Hubert Hurkacz (10) vs Roberto Bautista Agut (Q)
  • Lorenzo Sonego (LL) vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
  • Zhizhen Zhang vs Ugo Humbert (14)

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