Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (Sports Network) - World No. 1 star Novak Djokovic and eight-time reigning champion Rafael Nadal reached the quarterfinals, while second seed Andy Murray was a third-round upset victim Thursday at the $3.465 Monte Carlo Masters, the third ATP Masters 1000 event of the year.
The two-time Monte Carlo runner-up Djokovic, who has been nursing an ankle injury suffered during some Davis Cup action a couple weeks ago, came from behind to beat gritty 14th-seeded Argentine Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, while the third-seeded former No. 1 Nadal won his 44th straight match on the red clay at the famed Monte Carlo Country Club with a 6-2, 6-4 handling of 16th-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The Australian Open champion Djokovic awaits the Juan Martin del Potro-Jarkko Nieminen winner.
This prestigious tennis event, which dates all the way back to 1897, has been captured the last eight years by the great Nadal, who topped Djokovic in last year's marquee finale. Last year's final also marked a rematch of the 2009 title match, which was also won by the clay-court king Nadal.
Nadal, who is now 46-1 lifetime at this event, owns a record 22 Masters titles overall. The seven-time French Open champion's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be talented Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
Meanwhile, playing on least-favorite surface, the U.S. Open champion Murray was tattooed by 13th-seeded Swiss slugger Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-2 on Day 5.
Also on Thursday, Italian Fabio Fognini upset fourth-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2, sixth-seeded French favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga whipped veteran Austrian left-hander Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-0 and seventh-seeded French star Richard Gasquet doused ninth-seeded Croat Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-4.
The aforementioned Dimitrov secured his berth in the quarters by besting German Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-4.