Rafael Nadal edges Kyle Edmund in opening match at Monte Carlo

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Rafael Nadal edges Kyle Edmund in opening match at Monte Carlo

But the World No 1 was particularly relieved after seeing off Luxembourg's Gilles Muller 7-5, 7-5 in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters here yesterday to mark a successful return to the tour.

Murray, the world's No.1, defeated No. 32 Muller 7-5, 7-5 in one hour and 55 minutes, reports Efe.

But Ramos was implacable as he won the next two with back-to-back breaks and served for the match. With Edmund holding his serve, with a 6-5 advantage, Nadal misfired horribly on Edmund's set point to send the match to a decider.

He took the first set on Muller's serve when, having done well to retrieve two drop shots from Murray, Muller missed an easy smash at the net.

"It's good I'm able to play like that". However, after saving two set points on serve, Murray finally sparked into life, reeled off four straight games to leave Muller smashing his racket into the dirt. I started to take more risk because of his game.

Rafael Nadal is the defending champion at the Monte-Carlo Masters. In the first in Indian Wells past year, he had match point in a thrilling three-setter, and in their Australian Open meeting in January, Nadal again found himself behind, two sets to one, before coming through in five.

Defending champion Nadal was next on Court Rainier III after Murray and the nine-time victor began in blistering fashion with a first-set bagel of his opponent.

"I definitely played better as the match went on, obviously first service game was not ideal", Murray said.

Nadal is 2-0 against Zverev, defeating the German in five sets in January at the Australian Open.

This mouthwatering third round encounter will be the first match scheduled on Court des Princes, and the victor of this match will face top seed Andy Murray or 15th seed Albert Ramos Vinolas in the quarterfinals.

Murray has significantly extended his lead over Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings despite a slow start to the season.

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka was another victor today, with the third seed and 2014 champion ousting Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.

Murray took his time to come to grips with the clay surface, winning his first clay title in Munich in 2015, 10 years into his professional career.

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