Monte Carlo. Rafael Nadal is about to start his clay court season as the supreme favorite, but he will have to face strong competition starting from Monte Carlo where he had a tough draw.
Top seeds in Montecarlo
These are the top 8 seeds in the Principality: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Marin Cilic, and Karen Khachanov.
Draw analysis for the top players
Nadal, Djokovic, and Zverev had a very tricky draw from the very beginning as follows.
The King of Clay is seeded no.2, and he is chasing his 12th title in the Principality. After the 1st round bye, Rafa is expected to play fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, Denis Shapovalov (or Grigor Dimitrov), Marin Cilic (or Stan Wawrinka), Sascha Zverev (or Kei Nishikori) before getting to the final.
Rafa’s 1st part of the season was affected by his knee injury that made him retire in Indian Wells and Miami. However, according to reports, he is moving pretty well right now, and he should have no problem to compete.
Nole is eager to bounce back during the clay court season after a rather disappointing Sunshine Double following his early demise in Indian Wells (3rd round) and Miami (4th round).
After his 1st round bye, the world no.1 is projected to face his Indian Wells conqueror Philipp Kohlschreiber, Kyle Edmund, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Dominic Thiem before reaching the final.
Nole won the title in Monte Carlo on 2 occasions (2013 and 2015), and he was the runner-up in 2009 and 2012.
Sascha is having a rather disappointing season so far. With the exception of Acapulco where he was the runner-up, he hasn’t managed to go beyond the quarters in the other tournaments. The German has lost 4 of his last 6 matches, and he has recently lost in the 2nd round in Marrakech to the world no.60 Jaume Munar.
Sascha was extremely unlucky in his draw since after his 1st round bye he is expected to play Felix Auger Aliassime that is in top form. The German then should face Fabio Fognini, Kei Nishikori, and Rafael Nadal.
Last year in Monte Carlo, Zverev lost in the semifinal in 3 sets to Nishikori.
Dominic is having an extremely quirky season. The Austrian had a horrible run in all the tournaments with the (very notable) exception of Indian Wells where out of the blue he won the title after beating Roger Federer in a fantastic final.
After his 1st round bye, Dominic is projected to play Martin Klizan, David Goffin, Karen Khachanov, and Novak Djokovic.
Last year in Monte Carlo, Thiem was obliterated by Rafael Nadal in the quarters (6-0 6-2) soon after he defeated Djokovic in the previous round.
Plausible quarters in Monte Carlo
Here the possible quarters
Djokovic – Tsipsipas
Thiem – Khachanov
Nishikori – Zverev
Cilic – Nadal
Here the full draw
CAN ANYONE BEAT THIS MAN?
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