Big names march on in Monte Carlo

Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka all won their third-round matches at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters on Monday.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing, however, with Murray and Nadal both being made to work hard for their wins.

The Scot was in action against local favourite Benoit Paire, and looked down on out on more than one occasion before recovering to post a 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory in just over two and a half hours.

Murray was a set and a double break down before hitting back to level the scores, while Paire also had the opportunity to serve for victory in the decider, but the Frenchman just couldn’t close the deal.

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Next up for Murray is dangerous opponent Milos Raonic, who prevailed in three sets over Damir Dzumhur.

Elsewhere, eight-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal beat Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-3, although the victory was much trickier than the scoreline suggests.

Thiem had a whole host of chances to to make his opponent pay in the first set, but ended up converting just one of 16 break points earned.

At 4-4, Nadal had to endure a 15-minute service game before eventually holding on and going on to break Thiem in the 12th game to go one set up.

Thiem went a break up in the second set, but Nadal hit back immediately before breaking again in the eighth game to close out the hard-fought win.

Swiss duo Federer and Wawrinka enjoyed more straightforward wins.

Federer broke twice in the first set and once more in the second to beat Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-2, 6-4, while Wawrinka dispatched Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-2 to set up a quarter-final meeting with Nadal.

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