Surprised Nadal sees ‘super solid’ Djokovic exit Monte Carlo

Surprised at seeing rival Novak Djokovic go out of the Monte Carlo Masters after an error-strewn performance, defending champion Rafael Nadal acknowledged he enjoyed some luck in reaching the semifinals Friday.

Nadal struggled against fellow left-hander Guido Pella, losing his first three service games before recovering to beat the unseeded Argentine 7-6 (1), 6-3.

Top-ranked Djokovic earlier lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev and produced 47 unforced errors.

“Always, when Novak loses, (it) seems strange because he’s super solid,” Nadal said. “But everybody is human.”

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Boxing: World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s debut fight in the United States won’t be against Jarrell Miller, according to Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, after a second alleged doping violation by Miller.

Golf: Shane Lowry led the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage at 9-under par with two holes left when the rain-delayed second round was suspended because of darkness in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

• Defending champion Brooke Henderson shot a 3-under 69 at blustery Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii for a share of the third-round lead with Nelly Korda in the LPGA’s Lotte Championship.

• Scott McCarron topped the leaderboard at 4-under with two holes left when first-round play in the PGA Tour Champions’ rain-delayed Mitsubishi Electric Classic was suspended because of darkness in Duluth, Ga.

Soccer: Diego Polenta scored his first MLS goal by heading in a corner kick in the 88th minute as the host LA Galaxy beat the Houston Dynamo 2-1. … Albert Rusnak scored two goals, Sam Johnson added another and Real Salt Lake beat host FC Cincinnati 3-0 … Substitute Jordan Hamilton scored in the 77th and 79th minutes to give host Toronto FC a 4-3 victory over Minnesota United.

Horse racing: Santa Anita will race three days a week instead of four over the next four weeks because the track has lost some of its horse population to out-of-state venues … A jockey has been suspended 60 days for misusing his whip on another rider in an Arkansas race. A ruling by the Association of Racing Commissioners International alleges that David Cohen “deliberately” whipped jockey Edgar Morales several times at Oaklawn Park on April 6.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Surprised-Nadal-sees-super-solid-Djokovic-13782191.php.

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