Karatsev advances in Monte Carlo Masters as rain delays play

Karatsev hit 23 winners and closed out the match with a cross-court backhand.

Aslan Karatsev won his match in straight sets- Getty Images (File photo)

Aslan Karatsev set up a second-round match with Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Monte Carlo Masters by defeating Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-4 on Monday as rain played havoc with the clay-court tournament's schedule.

Karatsev, who rose to 29th in the ATP rankings from No. 194 since August, saved all four break points he faced. He broke his opponent immediately and led 4-3 in the opening set when rain interrupted play for more than four hours.

Once back from the locker room, Karatsev won two straight games to seal the opening set. The right-handed Russian hit 23 winners and closed out the match with a cross-court backhand.

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina also advanced with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Alex de Minaur and John Millman defeated Ugo Humbert 6-3, 6-3.

Both Rafael Nadal, who is seeking a record-extending 12th title at the Monte Carlo country club and the 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, have a bye into the second round.

Nadal was beaten by defending champion Fabio Fognini in the semifinals in 2019, and the tournament was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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