Edmund to meet Nadal
For the meagre three strong British contingent participating at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters, it was unfortunate that two of them should be forced to meet on the opening day.
It will be a tough match, whatever the court. The flipside, he's not played me. Different game styles Dan Evans
The record now shows that Kyle Edmund beat his Davis Cup team-mate Dan Evans, in straight sets leaving Andy Murray, the top seed and current world number one to fly the flag over the next week.
Edmunds, who, unlike his compatriot has a liking for the clay of Europe, won 7-5 6-1, recovering from a poor start to progress into the second round where the nine-time Monte Carlo champion, Rafa Nadal awaits.
In what was only the second meeting of their career, Edmunds found himself trailing 1-4 in the first set before finding his range to sweep past his compatriot.
And the prospect of meeting the best-ever player on clay, doesn’t faze him. "I played Novak Djokovic three times, Andy Murray twice, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic," he told the Guardian. I’ve been getting better on it over the past few days. It will be just a great experience.
"It will be a tough match, whatever the court. The flipside, he’s not played me. Different game styles. At the start of the match no one gets a head start just because of ranking or past wins. It’s 0-0, game on. That’s how I’ve got to approach it."
In other matches on the first day of the European clay court season, ninth seed Tomas Berdych was forced to fight hard in the last match on the main show court, to beat Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov 4-6 6-3 6-4. Eventually, after two hours of close play, his broader experience saw him get past the world No78.
In another close match, Pablo Carreno Busta, seeded 13, secured a 7-6(0) 6-7(4) 6-3 victory over the strutting but inconsistent Italian peacock Fabio Fognini.
The 12th seed Roberto Bautista Agut recovered from a slow start to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 1-6 6-3 7-5 and will now play the diminutive Diego Schwartzman, who knocked out Australia’s struggling Bernard Tomic 6-1 7-6(3) in 78 minutes.
Nicolas Almagro required two hours to get past Martin Klizan 4-6 6-3 6-1 and faces David Goffin next while 15th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, saved six break points before claiming a 6-2 6-3 victory over qualifier Renzo Olivo.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez lost 1-6 6-3 6-4 to Adrian Mannarino, who now plays fellow Frenchman and seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. In addition, Pablo Cuevas beat Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-0 and 20-year-old Alexander Zverev was untroubled by Andreas Seppi sweeping past him 6-1 6-2.