Djokovic, Nadal Storm into Monte Carlo Quarterfinals

Top seed Novak Djokovic and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal were in ruthless form as they powered into the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals on Thursday.

Djokovic extended his winning streak against US players with a 6-3, 6-0 defeat of Taylor Fritz.

The two-time tournament champion has now won nine in a row over Americans since losing at Wimbledon in 2016 to Sam Querrey.

Nadal repeated last year’s semifinal win over Grigor Dimitrov, beating the Bulgarian for the 12th time, 6-4, 6-1.

“I’m very, very happy, this is an important victory for me,” the second seed said after winning his 23rd consecutive set at the tournament.

“Grigor is a super talent and is very dangerous. It was a positive match for me.

“I had a good day, I can be happy with what I did on court.”

Spain’s 17-time Grand Slam champion started his clay season this week after missing a month with another knee problem and has title-holder points to defend here plus Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros.

The king of clay is bidding for a 12th trophy in the principality, and he next faces Guido Pella, who defeated Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Third seed Alexander Zverev suffered another early exit as he lost 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 to 2013 semifinalist Fabio Fognini, while French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem was blown away by Dusan Lajovic.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier lost 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 as Daniil Medvedev continued his run of form.

The Russian will next line up against Djokovic after losing to him in January in the Australian Open fourth round.

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