Routine doesn’t get more routine than that! Pablo Cuevas quickly secured his place in the second round at Monte-Carlo for the second year running after a pretty solid performance against Victor Troicki didn’t show up.
For Troicki this was his first clay court tournament since Roland Garros last year which will be the same for a number of players coming into Monte-Carlo but Cuevas had already played in three clay court tournaments this year so has the practice and a title to his name in Brazil earlier on in the year.
Overall you couldn’t have asked for a more solid performance from Cuevas. Everything was solid, he served well and I think especially during the first set when these two exchanged breaks concentration slipped a little maybe trying to over-play but his baseline game was spot on.
We saw the full armoury at use! The forehand cross court and in particular the one down the line with the follow in at the net but also the backhand which was so effective and calm from the Uruguayan who hit it with ease flattening out the shot going cross court inviting Troicki into that down the line shot which he struggled to make and flicked the winner up the line.
For Troicki it is going to have to be much better going into Rome and Madrid.
Things didn’t get going at all, I wouldn’t say there was much of plan and it fell apart quickly with just the one hold of serve from Troicki which was the first game of the match which took about 8/9 minutes for him to hold. The errors leaked off the forehand finishing with 18 I believe but the serve (second in particular) took a battering.
Troicki did serve with good speed on the first serve but the old saying goes “you are only as good as your second serve” and with one service hold and 25% of second serves won I think that argument.
Not focusing on the serve placement from Troicki here but the return placement from Cuevas.
The serve you can see didn’t ask much, players are sometimes more tentative on returning second on clay especially if the errors are leaking off the opponents racket but look how deep Cuevas returned some first serves as well, four of them almost touching the baseline. With the second serve he went back to where it came from with good depth, there wasn’t any variety today from the Serbian.
The serve fell apart quite quickly but there wasn’t a change up to try and lock Cuevas on return. Where is the serve down the T forcing the Uruguayan to hit a neutral and safe return…?
Cuevas moves on to round two whereas for Troicki his singles draw is over but he does have doubles with Djokovic later today.