Today was the opening day of the first masters event of the year on clay with three main draw matches being played. The only seed in action went through leaving the seeds with a 100% success rate and all the matches ended in straight sets. The women’s tennis on this week is the Fed Cup semifinals, which are happening this weekend.
David Goffin opened the Monte-Carlo Masters this year as he got past his fellow Belgian Steve Darcis 6-2, 6-1 in a very straight forward manner. Goffin looked like he was loving being back out on the clay court and he looked ready to start his push for a more permanent spot in the top 10. Darcis tried to come to the net to intimidate and make it harder for Goffin but the young gun was not having at as he hit passing shot after passing shot. Goffin’s serve was also firing and he saved the only break point he faced were as Darcis dropped just over 50% of his service points and that gave Goffin the easy opportunities he needed to get the 6-2 set. It was only more dominant in the second set as Goffin was unplayable and raced out to a 4-0 lead with the double break. Darcis managed to hold once but he was only clutching at straws as Goffin went on to get the break to take the 6-2, 6-1 match. This is showing Goffin isn’t phased when he plays big opponents because Darcis is an older Belgian player who acts as an inspiration and a mentor for David.
Our feature match saw Gilles Simon wind back to 5 or 6 years ago and play a fantastic match to get past Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-2 with a surprising amount of ease. Jaziri isn’t a strong clay court player but Simon really dominated the rallies and was forcing a lot of errors of the racquet of the top Tunisian player. Simon displayed nerves as he went out to start the match and he got broken early with a couple of thumping forehands from Jaziri. From there it was all the Frenchman and he didn’t face another break point and he broke Jaziri a further three times. Jaziri was frustrated with himself and it only made things worse, which is something he will need to fix if he wants to get better as a player. Simon went down a break at the start of the second set but, in similar style to the first, he didn’t face another break point after that. He closed out the win with a service hold and it looked like he was feeling good out there today. Even though the win was very dominant, I still think he can play better in the tournament and could challenge Novak Djokovic in the second round.
The other main draw match that was played saw Joao Sousa get a 6-3, 6-2 win over Florian Mayer.