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MONTE CARLO, April 18 (Reuters) - Fourth seed Tomas Berdych slumped to a 6-4 6-2 defeat against Fabio Fognini of Italy in the Monte Carlo Masters third round on Thursday.
A semi-finalist last year, Berdych, who had to recover from a break down in each set in the previous round to move past Spaniard Marcel Granollers, again struggled with his serve at the first big claycourt event of the season.
The Czech was broken four times overall and barely managed to unsettle the 32nd-ranked Fognini, who also beat him in the first round here in 2009.
Fognini will face seventh seed Richard Gasquet of France or Marin Cilic, seeded nine, in the quarter-finals.
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga opened the day at the sunbathed venue by overwhelming Austrian Juergen Melzer 6-3 6-0 to make it to the last eight and set up a potential clash with world number two Andy Murray, who was taking on Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka later on Thursday.
Reigning champion Rafael Nadal, seeking a ninth consecutive title in the principality, was facing Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany on the Centre Court that has been his stage since 2005.
World number one Novak Djokovic, who is playing despite an ankle injury, was scheduled to meet Juan Monaco of Argentina. (Reporting by Gregory Blachier; Editing by Clare Fallon)