World No. 1 Novak Djokovic can win the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, but it won’t be in doubles. Fourth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, who qualified for the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals, defeated Djokovic and his brother, Marko Djokovic, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the second round in Monte-Carlo.
The top seed in the singles draw has shown his ability in doubles this year, advancing to the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open last month alongside Fabio Fognini. And while the Djokovic brothers reached the last four in Doha to start the season, they could not beat the Colombians on Monday, falling after 55 minutes.
That was not an upset given the ATP Doubles Team Ranking of the Colombian team, but reigning Australian Open champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut losing was. Dutchmen Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof beat the top seeds 7-6(4), 7-6(2) in one hour and 38 minutes. Herbert and Mahut saved six of the seven break points they faced, but it was not enough to defeat the unseeded pair, which won 73 per cent of its first-serve points.
The Dutchmen will next play Acapulco champions Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev, who ousted Romain Arneodo and Hugo Nys, wild cards from Monaco, 4-6, 6-4, 10-7. The Zverev brothers lost only one service point in the Match Tie-break, moving on after one hour and 13 minutes.
In a star-packed match, two-time Nitto ATP Finals champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers dismissed Grigor Dimitrov and Stan Wawrinka 7-6(6), 6-3. The sixth seeds were clutch under pressure, saving eight of the 10 break points they faced.
In the only remaining doubles match of the day, Croatian Ivan Dodig and Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin beat Serbian Laslo Djere and Indian Divij Sharan 6-2, 6-1 in 58 minutes. Dodig and Roger-Vasselin triumphed in Montpellier earlier this year.
Did You Know?
Beginning this season, all ATP Masters 1000 doubles tournaments have 32 teams in the draw as compared to 24 in the past.