Djokovic, Nadal cruise into Monte Carlo quarters

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Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return during the singles second match against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France, April 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Nicolas Marie)

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal met little resistence on their way into the ATP Monte-Carlo Masters quarterfinals on Thursday.

Djokovic advanced to his ninth quarterfinal after beating American Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-0, notching his 15th victory from 18 tour-level encounters this season.

The world No. 1 converted six of 10 break points en route to a 68-minute win. He will meet the 10th seed Daniil Medvedev for a semifinal spot. Medvedev defeated Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 to reach his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

"With Daniil (Medvedev), we have never faced each other on clay. I have seen him play and practiced with him many times. I'm looking forward to it," said Djokovic.

The 11-time champion Nadal broke serve on four occasions to defeat Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-1 and advance to his 15th quarterfinal at the tournament.

"I am happy with the way that I am playing. The first two rounds I played more than well enough to win. So that's a good start for me on the clay court season. Hopefully today's victory helps for tomorrow too," Nadal pointed out.

Italy has two representatives in the quarterfinals. Qualifier Lorenzo Sonego continued his dream journey with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Britain's Cameron Norrie to reach the quarterfinals of Masters 1000 for the first time in his career.

His fellow Italian Fabio Fognini registered a convincing win of 7-6 (6), 6-1 over third-seeded Alexander Zverev.

Next against Fognini will be Croatian Borna Coric, who defeated Frenchman Pierre Hugues-Herbert 6-4, 6-2.

The fourth seed Dominic Thiem was stunned by Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-3.

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