Top-seed Andy Murray and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka were both bounced from the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters just hours apart on Thursday.
Murray was up first and was taking on Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who had to battle back from 0-4 down in the final set to pull off the 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 upset.
“Today it’s one of those days that sometimes happens,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “I was fighting. I was 0-4 and I thought that I need to keep playing every point. The, at the end, I won. I don’t know what to say.”
After Ramos-Vinolas stormed through the second set, Murray built a 4-0 advantage in the third set, dropping just three points in doing so. But the Spaniard responded, winning the next four games to even things at 4-4, and even after Murray fought back from 0-40 on his serve at 4-4, Ramos-Vinolas notched the decisive break for a 6-5 lead. He coughed up one match point, but converted on his second in the ensuing game to notch the biggest win of his career.
“A few times today, I made some bad decisions,” Murray said afterwards. “That’s something that, with my team, I’ll look at, watch some parts of the match over, see the shots that I chose and what I would do differently.”
Ramos-Vinolas moves on to play fifth-seed Marin Cilic, who knocked off Tomas Berdych 6-2, 7-6(0) on Thursday.
Just about an hour and a half later, Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas pulled off the tournament’s second biggest upset, knocking off Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4.
“On my side, it wasn’t the best match,” said Wawrinka. “I was a little bit slow today—heavy legs. Not moving the best. I’ve been working hard since the beginning of the clay doing fitness with tennis. For sure, I’m disappointed because I wanted to play better and make a better result here.”
Cuevas moves on to play 11th seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille, who led Adrian Mannarino 3-0 before his countryman was forced to retire.
Novak Djokovic avoided the upset bug but without a scare of his own. The second-seeded Serb outlasted Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals. He will play 10th seed David Goffin next after the Belgian ousted sixth-seed Dominic Thiem 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3.