MONTE CARLO, MONACO- Aljaz Bedene will play Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters after a straight sets victory over Lukas Rosol.
The British number two capitalised on a quick start to defeat the Czech 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and three minutes to set up a second round clash with eight time champion Nadal.
Bedene was able to break in the second game of the match as the Czech struggled to impose his powerful game on the slow clay. The Brit went a double break up in the second set but failed to serve out the match at the first attempt. After missing four match points on the Rosol serve in the following game, Bedene was able to successfully serve out the match on the second attempt.
Bedene will now face Nadal in the second round. The Spaniard holds the greatest record at this tournament with a record eight titles. Nadal held a 46 match win streak at this tournament which started in 2005 and ended in 2013 in a loss to Novak Djokovic in the final.
Due to his seeding, Nadal received an opening round BYE and is in the same quarter as 2014 Champion Stan Wawrinka, and the same half as world number two Andy Murray.
The 29 year old is coming in off the back of an encouraging run to the semi finals of the Indian Wells Masters after a struggling start to the season.
“It’s always good to be here,” said Nadal via atpworldtour.com. “I always have special feelings and I’m happy to be back. It’s the right place to be to play tennis. I had good practices in Mallorca and here and I hope to be ready for the action… I am here to try my best in every match and I don’t know how far I can go, but I will try my best to play well.
“I don’t have the stressful feelings like I had last year. I’m feeling much better with myself. The confidence is always the same. After Indian Wells, my confidence has been very high. I want to start the competition now and we’ll see how I play here.”
Make no mistake about it, Nadal is not the dominant force on the clay as he once was. But he is still an elite player of the game and huge scalp for Bedene if he pulls off the upset.
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