Murray and Edmund make their marks
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It was an apprehensive Andy Murray that turned up on the main show court for his first match at the Monte Carlo Masters which was also his first match since Miami, five weeks ago when he revealed he had an elbow injury which required rest.
It got a little bit better, I started to create a lot of chances in the second set
His apprehension was evident throughout the best part of the first set, especially the first game which immediately hand his opponent Gilles Muller, a break thanks to three double faults.
However as the match progressed his confidence returned, staving off a set point before reeling off four successive games to take the first set and then held his nerve throughout the second as his serve increased in power, to win through to round three 7-5 7-5 and a meeting with the 15th seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
"It was a tough first match, I started the match pretty slow, I obviously wasn’t serving that well at the start, Murray said in his post-match interview.
"I haven’t been in the best rhythm on serve because I only started serving at full speed four or five days ago. I knew it would take a bit of time but I wasn’t expecting to start serving like that.
"It got a little bit better, I started to create a lot of chances in the second set. I couldn’t get the breakthrough until right at the end."
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There was a bit of apprehension as well for Kyle Edmund as he took on the King of Clay, the nine-time champion of Monte Carlo and Roland Garros, Rafa Nadal.
No one was surprised that the British No3 was overwhelmed and handed a bagelÈ in te first set but he then turned the tables to make a real fight of it, pushing the Spanish star all the way to the finish line with his powerful serve and fearsome forehand.
However the result was inevitable as the more experienced Nadal having recovered from the loss of the second set, used his better tactical knowledge to claim the tird and a place in the next round, 6-0 5-7 6-3.
Third seed and former champion Stan Wawrinka also dropped a set to Jiri Vesely but recovered to win 6-2 4-6 6-2 as did Tomas Berdych in his 3-6 6-1 6-4 win over 39-year-old Tommy Haas.
It was a good day for the seeds, with Dominic Thiem defeating Robin Haase 6-3 6-2, Marin Cilic thumping Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-0 and Alexander Zverev, who next plays Nadal, seeing off Feliciano Lopez 6-0 6-4. Lucas Pouille and Pablo Carreno Busta were also successful.
But in the late match world number 11 Grigor Dimitrov, the eighth seed, suffered an unexpected 4-6 6-3 6-2 defeat at the hands of German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff.
There was also an early exit for 12th seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut as Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman progressed with a 6-3 7-6(3) victory.