Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Former world No. 1 greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal highlighted Wednesday's second-round winners at the $3.5 million Monte Carlo Masters tennis event.
The second-seeded four-time runner-up Federer thrashed Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-1 in 55 minutes, while the third-seeded eight-time champion Nadal won by an identical 6-2, 6-1 score against a Frenchman of his own, wild card Lucas Pouille, in 69 minutes at the famed Monte Carlo Country Club.
Federer lost to Stan Wawrinka in a rare all-Swiss ATP final last year in Monte Carlo, as he is still seeking an elusive title here.
The nine-time French Open champion and "King of Clay" Nadal, who has struggled to locate his best form so far this year after battling a wrist injury and appendicitis last year, won an Open Era-record eight consecutive titles at this event from 2005-2012 and has a brilliant 51-3 record in the storied tournament.
"Today, I played solidly," said Nadal. "Today, I played with no mistakes in a row. I played aggressively when I had to play aggressive. I hit some good passing shots than [in] the past couple of months. [It is] a thing that I haven't been doing very well."
Federer's third-round opponent on Thursday will be flashy Frenchman Gael Monfils, while Nadal will encounter 15th-seeded towering American John Isner.
Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic defeated Portuguese Joao Sousa 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych handled Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) and a seventh-seeded Wawrinka opened defense of his lone Masters title by dismissing Argentine Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-4 on Day 4.
Ninth-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov spanked Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4, while 10th-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon bested fellow countryman Benoit Paire 6-4, 7-5 and 11th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga took care of quality Belgian David Goffin 6-3, 6-4.
Also on Wednesday, 12th-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut overcame German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4); a 14th-seeded Monfils snuck past Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-6); the 6-foot-10 Isner topped Serb Viktor Troicki 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5); and 16th-seeded Tommy Robredo drilled fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-1 at the first clay-court Masters event of the season.
Some other third-round action on Thursday will pit reigning world No. 1 Novak Djokovic against rising Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer and Wawrinka versus Dimitrov.
The Serbian stalwart Djokovic titled here two years ago and is a two-time Monte Carlo runner-up. The reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion captured this year's first two Masters 1000 events, back-to-back in Indian Wells and Miami, and is trying to become the first player to win the first three Masters titles of the season.