Having won his opening round match with a cleaner score line, Belgian David Goffin was forced to work hard in his second round encounter, coming back from a break down in the decider twice and saving a match point to defeat Spanish wildcard Fernando Verdasco 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(1).
This marks the first time the world number 13 has won back-to-back matches at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, thus making his first round of 16 appearance.
Goffin claims opening set tiebreak
The match started out pretty routinely with both players holding serves until Goffin dropped his service game to give Verdasco a 5-3 lead and a chance to serve out the set. The Spaniard, however, was denied the opening set when his opponent broke right back on his fourth break point, saving a set point in the process.
Another couple of holds saw the opening set arrive at a tiebreak which Goffin had no trouble closing out, winning seven points to two.
Verdasco easily levels the match
The second set was all about Verdasco as he converted two out of five break points to quickly race to a 4-0 lead. This was followed by two consecutive holds of serve and Verdasco found himself a game away from levelling the match. After another hold of serve by Goffin, he closed out the set on his second set point as the match entered its 90-minute mark.
Verdasco falters as Goffin rolls on to victory
Goffin raced to an early 2-0 lead in the decider and started to look in control of the match, only to be broken right back in the following game. Having trailed down a break since then, the Belgian finally seemed to turn things around after Verdasco arrived at match point 5-4 up, which did not seem to bother the Belgian when he denied Verdasco the victory by breaking right back on his first attempt.
After holding his serve for the first time since the opening game of the set, Goffin saw the match enter its second tiebreak when Verdasco held serve to love. Much like the opening set tiebreak, Goffin steadied the ship, gaining enough steam to finish the match on his first match point when Verdasco hit an error at the net.
Goffin's reward is a round of 16 clash against rising German Alexander Zverev or lucky loser Marcel Granollers. In the now wide-open quarter of the draw that has been hit by the withdrawal of David Ferrer and the dismantling of world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic by Jiri Vesely earlier in the day, Goffin remains the highest seed left and should be the favourite to cruise into a third consecutive Masters 1000 semifinal.