Some much more normal results in Monte Carlo today, after the absolute seed massacre yesterday. The usual suspects - ie. Rafa and Roger - came through in style in straights, which is very nice to see! It is National Compliments Day in Australia today, so I'd like to pay a compliment to both of these fine gentlemen:
Rafa: Dude, ain't no one can concentrate harder than you. Watching you is exhausting, but it's fabulous. You're a credit to the sport.
Roger: You're a trooper and a gentleman, even if you smash racquets. And you can counteract bad publicity like no one else -no one's talking about your temper tantrum any more, because you went and got married. You're also a credit to the sport.
There are many more nice things I could say about these blokes, but that will do for today, I think.
The seeds did not come through scot-free, however - there was one major casualty in the form of fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro. He went out to Ivan Ljubicic, who has been playing very well of late and who was #3 in the world a few scant years ago. However, he really shouldn't be a match for Juan M, who's the best of the rest at the moment (the top four being almost otherworldly.) I didn't see the match so I cannot comment - did Juan M lose or did Ivan win?
Disappointing result for Marat Safin - he really should have won that match over Nicolas Lapentti, especially after having three match points. But in good Russian, bad Russian, we have some good news - Nikolay Davydenko is back, and he's opened up with a win. Good to see you back, Kolya!
Monte Carlo Rolex Masters (Monte Carlo)
Rafael Nadal def. Juan Ignacio Chela, 6-2 6-3
Roger Federer def. Andreas Seppi, 6-4 6-4
Ivan Ljubicic def. Juan Martin Del Potro, 4-6 6-1 6-4
Fernando Verdasco def. Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6-3 6-4
Nikolay Davydenko def. Ivo Karlovic, 6-4 6-3
David Ferrer def. Marc Gicquel, 6-1 6-0
David Nalbandian def. Marcel Granollers, 4-6 6-3 6-1
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Martin Vassallo Arguello, 2-6 7-5 6-2
Fabio Fognini def. Marin Cilic, 6-2 6-0
Albert Montanes def. Jean-Rene Lisnard, 6-2 6-4
Simone Bolelli def. Janko Tipsarevic, 7-5 6-3
Nicolas Lapentti def. Marat Safin, 7-6 (8-6) 2-6 7-6 (8-6)
Family Circle Cup (Charleston)
Venus Williams def. Sania Mirza, 6-1 3-6 6-2
Elena Vesnina def. Patty Schnyder, 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 7-5
Melanie Oudin def. Aleksandra Wozniak, 7-5 6-0
Peng Shuai def. Akgul Amanmuradova, 7-5 2-6 7-5
Viktoriya Kutuzova def. Alona Bondarenko, 6-4 7-5
Anastasia Rodionova def. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-2 6-4
Virginie Razzano def. Stéphanie Dubois, 6-3 7-6 (7-3)
Sabine Lisicki def. Lenka Wienerova, 6-4 6-3
Melinda Czink def. Vania King, 6-4 6-2
Varvara Lepchenko def. Shenay Perry, 6-2 6-3
Barcelona Ladies Open (Barcelona)
Roberta Vinci def. Flavia Pennetta, 6-1 6-2
Maria Kirilenko def. Severine Brémond, 7-5 6-2
María José Martínez Sánchez def. Masa Zec Peskiric, 7-5 5-7 6-2
Anastasiya Yakimova def. Magdalena Rybarikova, 3-6 6-3 6-0