Monte Carlo Draw Out! Nadal in Djokovic’s Half…

Hey folks. I hope you are all well and as excited as me about the upcoming clay Masters in Monte Carlo. It should be a cracker. Now lets take a look at the main themes of the draw.

  • Nadal in Djokovic’s Half

The first question was always going to be whether Nadal will be in the Djoker’s or Roger’s half of the draw. The fact that he is in the Djoker’s half is good news for Fedfans. Even though Nadal is vulnerable at this point, clay is still his strength and if he reaches the semi-final stage you would expect him to beat Roger. So as a Fedfan myself I am quite happy with that, because it means should Roger make the final we probably won’t have to see him defeated by Nadal for a fourth time in the Monte Carlo final. Of course Nadal can still make the final, but the Djoker must be the favorite at this point against him given their respective forms.

  • Wawrinka in Federer’s Quarter

Although Roger escaped Nadal in his half he has Stan to deal with in his quarter. If last year’s Monte Carlo final is anything to go by that means that Roger could lose in the quarters, but my guess it that Fedfans still prefer Stan in Roger’s quarter than Nadal his his half. At least if Roger gets by Stan then you’d like his chances to make it to the final. Stan’s form has been poor in his last three tournaments again after a good start to the year. Can he suddenly ignite again? Sure, but there is no guarantee he will even make it to the quarter finals. The same is true for Roger, but at least his form is more consistent.

  • Ferrer in Nadal’s Quarter Again

Last year Ferrer was in Nadal’s quarter in Monte Carlo and he ended up beating Nadal. This year Nadal’s confidence is even lower than last year when he came off a Miami final. So this will be a huge challenge for him should him and Ferrer both make the quarters. Ferrer is solid, and you can bet he will test Nadal to the limits.

  • Nadal Gets Thiem Second Round

Fresh off a week long training camp with the GOAT in Zurich Thiem will be looking to make the next big breakthrough after a return to form in Miami. He will have a tough first round but if he can get past it he will have the added advantage over Nadal of having a match under his belt. I realize Thiem got soundly beaten by Nadal at the French Open last year and that maybe his one-handed backhand does not match up that well with Nadal, but you never know. He could be really boosted by wins in Miami as well as the training camp with Roger, which could help him to make another big breakthrough. It’s a tough draw for Thiem but for Nadal too.

 

 

  • Fedal’s Overall Challenging Draws

Neither Roger nor Nadal were spared when it came to the draw. Roger’s draw is:

  • R1 Bye
  • R2 Chardy
  • R3 Monfils/Dolgopolov/Coric
  • QF Stan/Verdasco
  • SF Raonic/Berdych
  • F Djokovic/Nadal

That is a pretty tough draw. Already in his first match he will face Chardy who he lost to in his first match last year in Rome. But it is a good chance for revenge. Then Monfils, Dolgopolov, and Coric and all dangerous players who could cause an upset. The same goes for Stan and Verdasco. Raonic is a very determined player and much improved on clay, while we all know the danger of Berdych. I think if Roger makes the final and defends his points from last year that would already be a very satisfactory result. Now Nadal’s draw:

  • R1 Bye
  • R2 Thiem/Pouille
  • R3 Isner/Klizan
  • QF Ferrer/Simon
  • SF Djokovic
  • F Federer/Wawrinka/Raonic/Berdych

That is another very tough draw. And it is good to see because Nadal tends to get easier draws. It doesn’t come at the most opportune time for him either. He’d want to make at least semis to test himself against the best but he’s got a long way to go before that. Thiem, Klizan, and Ferrer are all high quality players.

 

Well those are the main themes of the draw the way I saw it. Murray and Nishikori is of course absent as far as top ten players go because Monte Carlo is not a mandatory event. Del Potro and Kyrgios is also still injured. But there are more than enough top players to make this a very interesting event. The big three will be the main sources of interest as usual. Will the Djoker continue the dominance he showed so far this year and win a second Monte Carlo title? Will Nadal be rejuvenated on his beloved clay and win an astonishing ninth title? Or will Roger surprise everyone and win his first ever Monte Carlo title?

The  is in your court.

Posted in Masters 1000, Monte Carlo.

30 Comments

  1. Wondering if it’s beneficial for Nole to attend monte carlo right away after claiming aus open title and winning indian/wells miami

    Maybe taking a break and doing madrid/rome would be better for hisfrench open performance

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t think so. He will have two more weeks to recover after MC and another after Rome. When you are winning you should keep playing. If he takes a month off he will lose momentum.

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  2. I have a feeling that this year’s MC might be similar to Madrid ’12. Both Nadal and Djokovic losing early and Fed winning it. If Tsonga is at his best he can take out Djokovic, and Nadal can possibly lose to anyone in his draw. Although I guess it’s unlikely that Djokovic loses early.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Nakul. I don’t see how it’s very likely that Djokovic will lose to Tsonga. The one is peaking and the other is plagued by injury. I’d rather the Djoker makes the semis in case Nadal does too.

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  3. As long as Djokovic is in the draw I think Nadal won’t be confident in his other matches as well. I think Djokovic is slowly starting to have the kind of effect Nadal had on Federer. Karma is a bitch eh.. :D

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha good point Ajay. I can’t think that Nadal would be particularly interested in facing Nadal at this point. The only place he is probably still ok with facing the Djoker is at the FO.

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    Nakul Reply:

    Ha. Nadal won’t be interested in facing Nadal? :-) A typo but it does makes sense!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    LOL.

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  4. Hey Ru-an, good post. Roger has almost all the time a tough draw, so… what else is new?? When he has an easy draw… then we should be worried :-)

    As you know I am not a Rafa fan, but there is one thing in your post I have to disagree on. To be honest… since 2014 Rafa also doesn’t have easy draws. Atleast that seems to me. How many times (during slams, etc) has it been that Roger, Rafa and Andy end up on one side?? To me, it seems like Djoko has had easy draws for more than a year or so. That doesn’t mean that he has to go through easy opponents, but it does help.

    And about Stan playing Roger. You know what is funny? Verdasco stopped Rafa twice at Miami (from winning it). Stan also stopped Roger twice from winning MC. But… not this time Stan the Man :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Cheers Kat. Draws mean very little anyway. They never work out as you think and probably Roger will not play Stan.

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  5. Ok, new look, new name, new direction, new blog and now……new picture! Cool, Ru-an! Love the new blog. Love the TENNIS BALL!! So far, so good! Dunno what to expect from Roger in MC. Firstly because it’s been a long break. Secondly MC is not one of his better tourneys in recent times except last year. But it would be nice if he could defend finals or at least reach semis. Then I hope he wins in Istanbul and goes deep in Rome and Madrid. He hasn’t gained any points this year coz he lost a lot from AO and if he had won IW, it would have boosted his position a bit. If he doesn’t do well in clay season, he maybe in danger of losing his no.2 ranking later in the year as he has so much to defend after FO. He worked so hard to get to no. 2, I hope he will be able to keep it, at least till end of year. Draw is really tough. Stan is tough on clay. Roger maybe rusty so anyone of the opening 3 players can upset him. So I’m keeping my expectations low. But I expect him to pick it up and even win one of Madrid/Rome before FO! C’mon Roger!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you Veronica. Nice to have you commenting more. Yeah who knows about Roger in MC. I think he will refreshed and ready after the training camp with Thiem anyway. Chardy is not too tough first round so that should give him some time to shake off rust if there is any. From the second round it gets harder and an upset is not impossible but you’d still expect him to win. QF could be tough if it is Stan but Stan is completely unpredictable and may not make QF. SF will be tough with Birdshit or Raonic but definitely winnable. Final vs Djoker would be tough but he beat Djoker there last year. I didn’t watch that match though and find the scoreline strange. Anyway a final looks possible. Winning the title would be huge at this point.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Thanks Ru-an! I’m trying my best to gain some ranking points, ha! If I’m not wrong, I think Djoker was hampered by right wrist injury losing to Roger in MC last year. Btw, bless the tennis gods for shoving Nadal in Djoker’s half! I hope they will be drawn together for the rest of clay! Let them beat each other up while Roger cleans up!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Like Madrid 2009? That was a once off though. And probably Nadal will land in Fed’s half in at least one of Rome and Madrid.

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  6. This is the true test for Nadal, if he can overcome Djokovic in the semi-final his chances at this year’s French Open double automatically due to the confidence boost, this is by all means Nadal’s proving ground tournament when it comes to clay. As far as Federer is concerned, I would like him to win MC! If I remember correctly this is one of those masters series title that has eluded him thus far. And there would be no better way than defeating the king of clay in the final, if the stars should align for such a match up. I for one would love to see another epic FEDAL battle in three sets at MC, only to see if Federer has a trump card. A slightly different approach to tactics and pace to put Nadal off balance and turn the tide in his favour, such a scenario would be awesome to behold, and would be a refreshing change of pace from the routine outcome we see unfold most of the time when these two giants meet on clay.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I wouldn’t mind a Fedal final either FeDal. But I’d rather Ferrer or Djokovic defeats Nadal and keep his confidence low for the FO. Or even Thiem although I know that is unlikely.

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    Veronica Reply:

    I don’t think Nadal can handle Djoker at MC. I think he would need at least one tourney to get into his groove. So I believe MC would not be too big an indicator where Nadal’s game/confidence is at. Also it’s worthy to recall that last year he won only one clay title pre FO but still won FO. Of course this year his performance/confidence overall is much worse. But I’ve learnt to be wary of him. Unless he loses in all the clay tourneys or/and crashes out relatively early in all of them, he is still favourite at FO. Nadal at 60/70 percent on clay can often be better than 100 percent of most players on clay! Ha!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Veronica there is plenty of time for Nadal to find his confidence on clay and even if he doesn’t the FO could still be in the bag. There is really no point in underestimating him, as I found out last year when I did just that. He is the Clay Monster.

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  7. Roger Federer : Pioneer, Trendsetter, Trailblazer? Jelena was pregnant and got married same like Mirka. Djoker named his son Stefan after Roger’s coach. Now Andy’s picked the same wedding date as Roger!! What’s next?……. Nadal having twins??!!! Haha!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:


    :-)

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    Veronica Reply:

    hahaha!! GOAT always wins, whichever way you see it, eh?! Btw, your header of Roger coming out of the shadows and into the light with finger wag 1.0 is one of my fav all time pic of Roger. That was a prophetic, career defining moment for Roger. Can’t wait for MC!!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Glad you like it. Certainly the most symbolic photo ever taken of Roger when he emerged from the shadows. The emergence of Fed 2.0!

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    Jiten Reply:

    That is one of my all time favorite pictures! Not only for Roger for whom it was a career defining moment, but for anyone, who are caught in situations like “When the goings get tough, the toughs get going”, it could be quite an inspirational one. For me personally, it definitely is one.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It was captured at a very opportune moment Jiten. Just as he is emerging out of the shadows into the light with his finger raised, as if it was meant to be. Some kind of meaningful cosmic coincidence. It was a very special win because it is was one of the only two times he defeated Nadal on clay, and in straight sets in his own back yard to boot. After that I had the sense that things had finally really turned around, which was true of course because he won his only FO/Wimby right after and in the process completing the career slam and breaking Sampras’ slam record. He almost did the Fedslam afterwards too but lost to Delpo in the USO final after being a set and a break up and looking in complete control!

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Hi Ru-an, Greetings to you! Enjoy your new blog with lots of spice added, i.e., giving us all a dose of juicy tennis news plus a variety of other interests. Like your Galleries you added, also as Veronica mentioned the photo of Roger’s finger-wagging, a signature moment.
    Let the MC tennis begin!
    A note to Veronice…Nadal could upset the rankings by having triplets, they beat twins any day…ha-ha-ha
    Cheers to all,
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m glad you like my new blog Dolores. If hope everyone else can be as adaptable and flexible as you. I already had one unsubscriber from my blog. You need to tell these people that change is good! Lol. As for triplets that would be special indeed from Nadal but would it top two pairs of twins?

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    Katyani Reply:

    Nope nope nope guys. Best Roger header pic is him in white, hands on his white headband and looking like he will kill anyone who will get in his way :-)
    That one is BY FAR the best :-) Goat of all Goat pics :-)

    Ps: you all are so right. Novak, Andy and Rafa don’t play like Roger on court, but off court they do almost all the things “the Roger way” :-)

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  8. Hey sweet eternal young Dolores… someone is turning the big nine zero in July….. :-)

    What is the best gift anyone can ask for? Living till 105 or…. spending one whole day with the Goat?? I know my answer :-)

    [Reply]

    Dolores Reply:

    Hi Katyani! Your comment gave me a real good chuckle….sweet Katyani…Thank You! No problem guessing your answer, I would love to give Goat RF a big hug, a grandmotherly hug.
    Looking forward seeing Roger in action. It should be an exciting summer.
    Best to you,
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

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