Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
MONTE CARLO — Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka earned a free trip into the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday when Spain’s Nicolas Almagro retired before their third-round match with a foot injury.
Australian Open winner Wawrinka, seeded third, will Friday face off against Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic, who beat 11th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3.
Wawrinka has beaten Raonic in both of their previous meetings, in 2012 and 2013 on hardcourt.
Almagro said he was unable to walk after waking with pain in his foot.
“After consulting with the doctor for a long time this morning, we decided together that it was better for me not to play.
“I deeply regret this because I was expecting a lot from this tournament that I like so much,” he said in a statement.
French tennis hero Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrated his 29th birthday with a win in controversial circumstances over flamboyant Italian Fabio Fognini, as he defeated the volatile 10th seed 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.
Fognini toughed out the opening set but was unable to hang on as he lost the second.
In the third, the Italian was jeered by a public which had largely been in his favor as he appeared not to be trying, winning just four points in the final set and letting loose with a string of expletives in moments of frustration.
Top seed Rafael Nadal was playing Italy’s Andreas Seppi later, with second-seeded holder Novak Djokovic taking on Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and fourth seed Roger Federer facing Czech Lukas Rosol.