Rafael Nadal Beats Matosevic-Continues 43-Match Unbeaten Run At Monte Carlo

Defending champion Rafael Nadal extended his incredible unbeaten run at the Monte Carlo Masters with a 6-1 6-2 win over Australian Marinko Matosevic.

The Spaniard, 26, is going for his ninth straight title in Monte Carlo, where he is on a 43-match unbeaten run.

World number one Novak Djokovic plays Mikhail Youzhny later on Wednesday despite worries over an ankle injury. Second seed Andy Murray will then begin his 2013 clay-court season against world number 81 Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Murray will face the Frenchman for the second time, having won their previous meeting in Australia last year, but Vasselin, 29, came through qualifying and beat Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3 6-2 in the first round on Monday, while the Scot had a bye.

Djokovic, 25, confirmed on Tuesday that he will play after recovering sufficiently from twisting his right ankle on Davis Cup duty on 7 April. The Serb, who has a home in Monte Carlo, said: “My ankle is in a state that is good enough for me to perform tomorrow, and hopefully I can perform my best and I can win and see how it goes day by day.”

Murray will be hoping to close the gap to Djokovic at the top of the rankings with a good clay-court season, having failed to get past the quarter-finals in four attempts on the surface last year.

“The start of the clay-court season is where I’ve struggled most, not so much once I’d got to the French Open.

“Because I don’t play on it for 10 and a half months of the year I’ve always struggled in the first few weeks, and it takes me some time to get used to the movement again. It’s a very different feeling on the body because of the sliding.

“I didn’t grow up playing on clay so the other surfaces come to me more naturally, whereas clay takes a while,” said Murray.

Roger Federer, the world number three, has chosen to skip Monte Carlo and begin his clay campaign in Madrid in May.

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