Nadal thrashes Bedene in Monte Carlo opener

Monte Carlo – World number one Rafael Nadal started his bid for an 11th Monte Carlo Masters title with a 6-1, 6-3 second-round victory over Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene on Wednesday.

The 16-time Grand Slam winner, like Novak Djokovic, is looking for a record 31st Masters title, and will take on big-hitting Russian Karen Khachanov in the last 16.

Nadal brought up set point in the opener with a trademark, curling forehand up the line, before sealing the set with a drop shot.

Bedene managed to keep the second set on serve for six games, but Nadal broke to lead 4-3 and wrapped up a comfortable victory in the Monaco sunshine with another break as Bedene hit a forehand into the net.

He remains on course for a possible quarter-final showdown with Djokovic, who earlier needed 10 match points to see off Borna Coric.

Results from the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):

2nd round

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-1, 6-3

Novak Djokovic (SRB x9) bt Borna Coric (CRO) 7-6 (7/2), 7-5

Karen Khachanov (RUS) bt Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-2, 6-2

Kei Nishikori (JPN) bt Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 7-5, 6-2

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x11) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x13) 6-4, 6-2

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) bt Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP x15) 6-4, 6-2

Richard Gasquet (FRA) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG x10) 6-2, 6-1

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