It’s been a lengthy wait but Nadal returns to the ATP Tour for his first match since being forced to withdraw from his semi final clash with Marin Cilic at the Australian Open. He is chasing an 11th title here and like many of the clay courts on tour, he has made this one his own. The Wolf is predicting him to be tested. He is returning from injury and finds himself in a quarter of the draw that includes Djokovic and Thiem.
Monte Carlo Masters Feature Previews
Novak Djokovic v Borna Coric
The Wolf is not ready to buy into Novak after one solid performance. Lajovic barely put up a fight and that certainly will not be the case against Coric. The youngster is proving to be one of the genuine stars of the future! A semi final run at Indian Wells was followed by a quarter final showing in Miami and that has set the foundation for a huge clay court season. It is his preferred surface and as we saw in his opening round match, he can make some capable players look very lethargic on this surface. We saw him beat Murray in straight sets in Madrid last year and that came after winning his maiden title. He is at the top of his game and has the ability to consistently trade blows from the baseline with Novak. The Wolf is predicting an upset!
Best Bet: Coric +3.5 ($1.80)
Rafael Nadal v Aljaz Bedene
There are no words that can describe Nadal’s ability to play on this surface and his career results on the red dirt. A 10 time winner here, he has a 63-4 win/loss record in Monaco. Let’s not forget a record 53 career titles on clay and you have the best clay courter in the history of the game. Few have been able to get past the Raging Bull on this surface and we have seen him thrash opponents with consummate ease. Nadal broke the Bedene serve on 5 occasions when they met here two years ago and will be repeating that performance.
Best Bet: Nadal -6.5 ($1.80)
Richard Gasquet v Diego Schwartzman
Wolfy is very surprised to see Gasquet installed as the outsider in this match. He was in vintage form in his opening round win over Chardy while Schwartzman was bageled in the opening set before coming back to win in three. The Frenchman won their only prior encounter in Antwerp in 2016 and has always been a tough proposition on this surface. Schwartman has one of the weakest serves on tour and that will allow Gasquet to consistently make an impression in return games. He is a great bet with the start.
Best Bet: Gasquet +2.5 ($1.85)
|Medvedev v Nishikori||Nishikori -3.5 ($1.73)|
|Khachanov v Simon||Khachanov WIN ($1.50)|
|Bautista-Agut v Lopez||Bautista-Agut -3.5 ($1.70)|
|Kohlschreiber v Ramos-Vinolas||Over 22.5 games ($1.85)|
|Djokovic v Coric||Coric +3.5 ($1.80)|
|Garcia-Lopez v Seppi||Garcia-Lopez WIN ($2.50)|
|Nadal v Bedene||Nadal -6.5 ($1.80)|
|Gasquet v Schwartzman||Gasquet +2.5 ($1.85)|
|Raonic v Cecchinato||Cecchinato +3.5 ($1.73)|
|Verdasco v Cilic||Over 22.5 games ($1.91)|