Tennis Prose



Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters – Preview and Our Picks

Outside of the four Grand Slams, the Monte Carlo Masters is always one of the most anticipated events on the ATP Tour calendar. The tournament, which is played on the clay courts, is generally viewed as a warm-up event for next month’s French Open and it rarely fails to attract a high quality field. The 2021 event will be played without fans, however, the tournament continues to be staged in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

This Masters 1000 event has been won by some of the sport’s biggest names, although it’s Rafael Nadal who has dominated in recent years. The Majorcan picked up his first victory at the Monte Carlo Country Club in 2005, and has subsequently been successful on ten occasions.

With the 2020 staging of this event having been cancelled, Nadal will be keen to reclaim his crown having seen Fabio Fognini take the title two years ago. The maverick Italian was priced up as an outsider for the 2019 tournament, whereas Nadal is consistently amongst the favourites.

Betting on this event remains extremely popular, and if you’re planning on backing the ‘King of Clay’ to pick up his 12th victory here, it’s important to shop around to ensure that you find the best possible odds. This can be achieved by choosing some new betting sites and the majority of these will also offer all new players a generous welcome bonus and this can be used to wager on all upcoming tennis tournaments.

With Gael Monfils having withdrawn due to a calf injury and both Benoit Paire and Marin Cilic having already been knocked out in the first round, the field has been slightly reduced. However, there are still plenty of interesting options when it comes to betting on this hugely popular event.

Monte-Carlo Masters Betting Odds

Unsurprisingly, ‘King of the Clay’ Rafael Nadal leads the outright betting for this Masters 1000 event, and he is available at an odds-on price. The 34-year old loves playing here – it’s one of his favorite ATP events – however, he hasn’t been able to take part in any warm-up events, and hasn’t played a competitive match in almost two months.

His last appearance was at the Australian Open, where he exited at the quarter-final stage. Nadal has rarely been completely comfortable with the hard courts in Melbourne, so it’s difficult to read too much into his defeat to the impressive, rising star from Greece Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Rafa reached the quarter-final stage of the Rome Masters in 2020 having barely played for several months, so although his potential rustiness may prevent him from winning the tournament, he is still likely to make it through to the latter stages.

Novak Djokovic is also towards the top of the betting and the 18-time Grand Slam winner is always competitive at this event. However, clay is his weakest surface and with just a single French Open victory to his name, he could struggle to make it beyond the final four. He does come off the back of a successful Australian Open campaign, however, this is a completely different set of circumstances for the Serb. Keep in mind Djokovic has won Monte Carlo twice (2013 and 2015).

Daniil Medvedev is third in the outright betting, however, the world number two has openly admitted that he is ‘out of his comfort zone’ on the clay courts and he has yet to make it beyond the first round of the French Open. All ten of his titles have been secured on the hard courts, and it is difficult to make a case for the rising star this week.

The aforementioned Stefanos Tsitsipas has been given a bye for the first round, and will fancy his chances of going deep in this tournament. He took Djokovic to five sets at Roland Garros last season and having played in both Miami and Acapulco, he’s had plenty of opportunity to warm up for his trip to the French Riviera. He’s drawn in the same half as Djokovic once again, and the pair are likely to meet in the final four.

Alexander Zverev is also drawn in this half and he faces a tough passage to the final. The German’s strongest suit appears to be on other surfaces and he struggled at the 2020 French Open. He did reach the quarter final at Roland Garros in 2019, so he’s not completely out of the equation, although he’s been handed a difficult draw and that could prove to be his undoing.

Monte-Carlo Masters Predictions

Rafa Nadal will be top of the list for the majority of punters and his record here speaks for itself. The draw has been exceptionally kind to him, with only clay-hating Daniil Medvedev likely to cause him problems. Although he is likely to come up against a number of plucky and spirited South American players during the first couple of days, he should have enough to make it through.

However, Stefanos Tsitsipas is interesting at a bigger price. The Greek is still a little inconsistent, however, he’s been able to compete in plenty of warm-up events and doesn’t have any problems with this surface. He will need to get past Djokovic in order to reach the final, however, this is the Serb’s weakest surface and it could be the ideal time to face him.

Tournament Prediction – Stefanos Tsitsipas

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  • Scoop Malinowski · April 12, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Also have to consider Felix Auger Aliassime who is now being coached by Uncle Toni Nadal. Though in an interview Djokovic downplayed the new alliance as he said he knows Felix has been training at Nadal’s academy for quite a while now and he’s already received a lot of mentoring and coaching from Toni so he seemed unsure how much Toni will be able to help Felix now. In short, Djokovic seemed unthreatened by this supposedly new alliance.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 17, 2021 at 8:20 am

    That Tsitsipas pick is looking very astute right now.



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