Rafael Nadal remains in the hunt for an 11th Monte Carlo Masters title, but a mouth-watering quarter-final against Novak Djokovic was scuppered by Dominic Thiem.
World number one Nadal cruised past Karen Khachanov 6-3 6-2 in just 79 minutes in his third-round match, but fans in the principality were denied a heavyweight last-eight meeting between the Spaniard and Djokovic.
The Serbian showed signs of promise as he continues his comeback from an elbow injury, but he let a one-set lead slip and Thiem fought back to claim a 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 6-3 win.
Marin Cilic was granted a walkover after Milos Raonic withdrew due to a knee injury and he will face Kei Nishikori next, the Japanese beating Andreas Seppi 6-0 2-6 6-3.
Grigor Dimitrov required three sets to get past Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6 6-3 6-4 and Richard Gasquet thwarted a sibling match-up in the quarter-finals by eliminating Mischa Zverev 6-2 7-5.
NADAL-THIEM RIVALRY RENEWED
Nadal and Thiem met four times during the clay swing last season, with the Spaniard coming out on top in the most important outings.
The 31-year-old triumphed in finals in Barcelona and Madrid as well as a semi-final clash en route to claiming his 10th French Open title.
Thiem was the victor when they met in the quarter-finals of the Internazionali d'Italia and he will be hoping to channel that display and overcome the 'King of Clay' as he attempts to secure a first ATP Masters 1000 title.
10-time champion @RafaelNadal sets #RolexMCMasters QF vs. @ThiemDomi . Nadal has won 30 straight sets on clay since losing to Thiem in 2017 @InteBNLdItalia QF. Thiem is 1 of 2 men to beat all members of Big 4 on clay (also Wawrinka). Spaniard leads Austrian 5-2 H2H -- all on clay.— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) April 19, 2018
BAUTISTA AGUT CAUSES HEADACHES
Roberto Bautista Agut was not happy after dropping his serve in the second set against David Goffin and he hit a ball into the ground in frustration, unknowingly sending it into the direction of a ball boy.
It bounced up and caught the youngster on the head, earning the Spaniard a warning from the umpire, despite his opponent appearing to lobby for him to be defaulted.
Bautista Agut then gave Goffin a headache by rallying back from 5-1 down in the second, saving two match points to draw level, but a break of serve at a crucial point enabled the Belgian to close out a 6-4 7-5 win.
BEWARE THE ADS
Thanasi Kokkinakis took a fall after running into an advertising sign, positioned in front of the line judges, during his defeat to Khachanov and the Australian responded by kicking it away.
Alexander Zverev was similarly unimpressed by the location of the sponsored padding during his 6-4 4-6 6-4 triumph over Jan-Lennard Struff, throwing it to the side and having a request for them to be moved rejected by the umpire.
The world number four – who would have faced his brother had Mischa beaten Gasquet - later threw his racket into the ground and spat in the direction of the crowd, but he refocused and sent Struff tumbling out of the tournament.
15 de diciembre 2018
|Westbrook on Murray scuffle: He was in my way|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Van Dijk the rock on which Klopp can build a title triumph|
|Marcelo ´never´ considered Madrid exit amid Juventus links|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Resurgent Rashford now a leader for Mourinho|
|Injury-plagued Nuggets beat Thunder to hold Western Conference lead|
|Southee takes five as Sri Lanka recover in Wellington|
|Kings troll Curry by playing clips of moon landing|
|Guardiola: Premier League title race similar to Barca-Madrid battles|
|Ovechkin joins rare NHL club with second straight hat-trick|
|Liverpool can´t be judged just on trophies – Klopp responds to Mourinho|
|Athletics´ Chapman undergoes procedure on left shoulder|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid miss Ronaldo|
|Ronaldo right about Juventus team spirit – Allegri|
|Klopp: I´m not the pope of football tactics|
|Stade beat Ospreys on emotional Chauvin tribute night|
|Ligue 1 survival bid a marathon not a sprint for Monaco, as club appoints distance runner|
14 de diciembre 2018
|Vertonghen eyeing Spurs future beyond 2020|
|De Bruyne injuries could be a blessing for City, says Guardiola|
|Emery prepared to face Arsenal´s centre-back crisis|
|Ulster complete Scarlets double, Exeter gain Gloucester revenge|
|Sheffield United 1 West Brom 2: Baggies comeback boosts automatic promotion push|
|Del Potro back on court following knee injury|
|Canelo v Fielding: Rocky ready to write his own fairytale in New York|
|Boca part company with Schelotto after Copa Libertadores loss to River|
|Canelo v Fielding: Tale of the tape|
|Juventus defender Cancelo has knee surgery|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez and Rocky make weight in New York|
|Spalletti does not fear another mid-season crisis at Inter|
|Salah headlines CAF Player of the Year shortlist as Koulibaly misses out|
|Beckham Jr. out of Titans clash|
|Lipsky hits the front at Leopard Creek|
|Pederson coy over Wentz back injury|
|Liverpool ´not really likely´ to be active in January window, reveals Klopp|
|Always on the move and unpredictable - Pavard reveals surprising choice over toughest opponent|
|We need to get back to respect - Lampard alarmed by hate in football|
|Giles returns to England to replace Strauss as director|
|Hansen has no issue with Milner-Skudder Toulon switch|
|Juventus to rest Ronaldo after Torino showdown|
|Titmus strikes gold again as world records tumble in Hangzhou|
|Malinga to captain Sri Lanka in New Zealand|
|Rivaldo would like ´excellent´ Isco at Barcelona|
|United a long way from Mourinho´s vision|
|´Klopp denies an answer!´ - Liverpool boss dismisses questions about ´world-class´ Pogba|
|Returning Nowitzki ´so tired´ after making NBA history|
|Aguero and De Bruyne in contention for Manchester City v Everton|
|Simeone has no plans to cash in on Costa|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez´s greatest nights|
|Fabregas: Chelsea being unfairly scapegoated over racism allegations|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp focuses on defensive solutions for United clash|
|Hope cannot inspire Windies as Bangladesh cruise to series win|
|Benitez picks up Premier League Manager of the Month award|
|Chavez, Marquez and Canelo - Mexico´s greatest multi-weight world champions|
|Bale set to miss Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano|
|Robben out until January as Bayern look to avoid serious injury|
|Milan avoid UEFA ban in FFP punishments.|
|Mourinho compares Liverpool to ´an amazing house´ but insists trophies matter|
|Brisbane Roar 2 Melbourne Victory 4: Muscat´s men hit A-League summit|
|Bumrah confident second Test is ´in the balance´ after India recovery|
|Isco gesture was for a corner or foul, claims Solari|
|Harris leads Australia into ascendancy on day one|
|ATP announces candidates to host future Finals|
|Ronaldo: Juventus fans refuse to lose to Torino|
|Hero Rivers feared he had cost Chargers in KC|
|Williams would welcome Llorente back to Athletic Bilbao|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Minding the gap|
|Milan elimination unjust, fumes Leonardo|
|Paul hails ´sick´ Harden after record-breaking display|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Salah, Mane and Firmino v Rashford, Martial and Lukaku in Opta number|
|Canelo open to GGG trilogy as he chases place in Mexican history|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|