De Minaur out, Millman wins in Monte Carlo

Alex de Minaur has suffered his fourth straight loss to tumble out of the Monte-Carlo Masters while fellow Australian John Millman won to advance.

JORDAN THOMPSON of Australia.
JORDAN THOMPSON of Australia. Picture: Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

Australia's No.1 Alex de Minaur has tumbled out of the rain-interrupted Monte-Carlo Masters in the opening round, extending his run of losses on the ATP Tour to four.

The country's second-ranked man John Millman progressed to the second round, a day after compatriots Jordan Thompson and Alexei Popyrin won their opening matches in three tough sets.

World No.25 de Minaur started well in his match against 21-year-old Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, breaking serve to go up 4-2.

However, Davidovich Fokina recovered to take the set and stubbornly saved six of the eight break points he faced to win 6-4 7-6 (7-3), levelling his head-to-head rivalry with de Minaur at 1-1.

The loss for de Minaur was his fourth in a row on tour with his last win coming on March 2 against Millman at the Rotterdam Open.

Millman served strongly and took his chances in his match against rising Frenchman Ugo Humbert, securing four of five break point opportunities in his 6-4 6-4 win.

The 31-year-old Millman will meet the winner of the clash between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Cristian Garin, which was suspended on Monday evening with the former leading 4-2.

Rain played havoc with the schedule at the picturesque Monte Carlo Country Club, with the matches of de Minaur and Millman interrupted for several hours.

Russia's Aslan Karatsev moved into the second round with a 6-3 6-4 win over 19-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti.

Karatsev, who made headlines with his incredible run to the Australian Open semi-finals as a qualifier, will next meet world No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Third-seeded Rafael Nadal is seeking a record-extending 12th title at the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event and he could meet top-ranked Novak Djokovic in next Sunday's final.

Djokovic beat Nadal in the 2013 final and won the tournament again in 2015, while Nadal's 11th title came in 2018.

Both have a bye into the second round along with the six other top-eight seeds.