MONTE CARLO MASTERS – ROUND 3 TIPS

It was a disappointing R2 for us, as Bautista Agut and Garin won convincingly, but Popyrin lost in 3 sets to let down our treble. Furthermore, Cecchinato lost to Goffin in our value single pick. We hope for better luck in the last 16, as more value presents itself this time around, in our view.

Zverev to beat Goffin 4/9

Sascha secured a straight sets win against the in-form Sonego in R2, who lifted both the singles and doubles titles last week in Cagliari, and had an impressive win vs Fucsovics in R1. Zverev’s powerful game transfers well onto the clay, evidence of this being the two clay Masters events he has won (Rome 2017 and Madrid 2018). It gives him time to wind up his big ground strokes, and he is still capable of getting cheap points on his serve. Whilst Goffin is a decent retriever, Zverev’s weapons are just too powerful, and now that he has a win under his belt already, has some confidence which is vital for him.

Rublev to beat Bautista Agut 4/9

Bautista Agut has breezed past his first two rounds against Fritz and Paul without dropping a set. However, Rublev will offer a much sterner test. Whilst Bautista Agut beat him in Doha earlier this year, these conditions heavily favour the Russian. Bautista Agut’s flat groundstrokes will sit up, and allow the big hitting Russian to put the Spaniard under pressure off both sides. Rublev also moves pretty well on this surface. In their only clay meeting in Hamburg last year, Rublev dominated in a 6-2 7-5 win and went on to win the title. We expect Rublev to blast his way to victory again.

Tsitsipas to beat Garin 1/3

Tsitsipas was handed a very tough opening match in the form of Karatsev, but overcame the in-form Russian 6-3 6-4. The Greek has played some great tennis this year already, with a win over Nadal on his way to the Australian Open semis, and a final appearance in Acapulco. He is given a different test next up in the form of Garin, someone who doesn’t have the same powerful weapons as Karatsev but is much more comfortable on a clay court. In their only meeting on clay (also in Hamburg last year), Tsitsipas was pushed but came through in 3 sets. The Chilean has produced some excellent tennis so far in beating Auger-Aliassime and Millman without dropping a set, extending his clay court win streak to 6. His solidity from the back of the court and depth control have been key for him so far this week, but that will not be enough against Tsitsipas. He is also consistent from the back of the court, but is also very good at stepping in and putting his opponent under pressure on any surface. This quality means that he will dominate the rallies, and advance to the quarter finals.

Fognini to beat Krajinovic 4/5

The defending champion has played some fantastic tennis so far, overcoming Kecmanovic and Thompson without dropping a set. He is enjoying the conditions this week, and seems to have put last week’s dreadful 6-2 6-1 loss to Munar behind him. Clay allows Fognini time to wind up his heavy groundstrokes and blast winners, something that has allowed him to beat Nadal 3 times on the dirt, only Thiem and Djokovic have more wins. By contrast, Krajinovic is someone who enjoys quicker conditions. His last match on the surface before this week was a first round exit at the French Open to Milojevic in 4 sets. His wins so far this week are nothing to write home about, a victory via retirement over Basilashvili and a win against the horrendously out of form Londero. When his motivation is high, which it appears to be this week, Fognini simply has too much quality for Krajinovic on this surface.

Four-fold: 4.01/1

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