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.