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Nadal and Zverev dominate in Monte Carlo, Nishikori out

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters Monte Carlo, Monaco-Ville, Monaco Apr 17, 2019, 09.22 PM (IST)

Rafa Nadal once again proved his clay court dominance when he swept aside fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut at the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday (April 17).

Nadal claimed five break points in the match and broke serve five times on his way to beating Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-1.

The 11-time champion in Monte Carlo showed the kind of form that means any opponent is going to have to play exceptionally well to stop him winning a 12th title at the upcoming French in May.

Nadal moved into the last 16 of the Masters where he will face Grigor Dimitrov in the third round.

Germany's Alexander Zverev was also dominant in his victory over fellow up-and-comer, 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime, beating the Canadian 6-1, 6-4.

21-year-old Zverev raced through the first set, but Auger-Aliassime won impressive points in the second that suggested this could be a rivalry tennis fans might get used to in the coming years.

Zverev won six break points in the match and made consistent returns of serve, keeping the pressure on Auger-Aliassime.

The German will now face Italy's Fabio Fognini in the round of 16 on Thursday (April 18).

Fifth seed Kei Nishikori of Japan was beaten by Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-5 6-4 in a hard fought match.

The 28-year-old Frenchman won 81 percent of points on his first serve and broke twice, while Nishikori struggled to find consistency on his opening serve.

Herbert will take on Borna Coric of Croatia in the third round.