The Wolf went a perfect 3-0 with his feature previews yesterday and cannot wait for the 3rd round. Djokovic takes on Thiem in a repeat of last year’s French Open quarter finals while Nadal faces the big hitting Karen Khachanov.
Monte Carlo Masters Feature Previews
Novak Djokovic v Dominic Thiem
The win over Coric was Novak’s best performance of 2018. They went tooth and nail in a great battle and the Djokovic defence stood the test. The key to Novak’s success has always been his physical conditioning. His legs in particular look to be back but there are still some holes in his game – the serve and forehand. This week we have seen him take the pace off the 1st serve to make a higher percentage but that could spell danger against Thiem. The Austrian lost his first 5 matches against Djokovic until overcoming the hurdle at the French Open last year. He was below his best against Rublev but will definitely but up for it in the match of the day. If both player find their best form over the next 6 weeks we will see them meet multiple times – and they will all be epics.
Best Bet: Thiem +1.5 ($1.91)
Rafael Nadal v Karen Khachanov
Rafa was in devastating form against Bedene but faces a very different opponent in the 3rd round. Bedene is what The Wolf refers to as a ‘plodder’ – he lacks a genuine winning stroke and cannot take control from the back of the court. Khachanov is anything but a plodder. The 21 year old Russian has burst onto the scene and done so on the back of a huge power game. He has a booming serve and a forehand to boot. We saw the combination on full display in his title winning run on Marseille, albeit on a fast indoor surface. The Wolf says not to be fooled into thinking that he cannot play on this surface. He has posted wins over Bedene, Isner, Berdych, Goffin and Bautista-Agut on clay over the last two years. He has the weapons to trouble Rafa. Back the Overs.
Best Bet: Over 18.5 games ($1.73)
Grigor Dimitrov v Philipp Kohlschreiber
We have been fading Dimitrov at the handicap throughout 2018 and are not about to stop now. He struggled to get past Kohlschreiber at the Madrid Masters a year ago and his current form is nowhere near that level. The German has 6 clay court titles to his name compared to just 1 for Dimitrov. Dimitrov may sit at no.5 in the world but as mentioned prior to his match against Herbert, he has a losing record on clay over the last 24 months. We will be backing the German to cause an upset.
Best Bet: Kohlschreiber +1.5 ($1.91)
|Bautista-Agut v Goffin||Bautista-Agut +0.5 ($1.80)|
|Struff v A.Zverev||Struff +4.5 (1.73)|
|Dimitrov v Kohlschreiber||Kohlschreiber +1.5 ($1.91)|
|Djokovic v Thiem||Thiem +1.5 ($1.91)|
|M.Zverev v Gasquet||Under 21.5 games ($1.73)|
|Nadal v Khachanov||Over 18.5 games ($1.73)|
|Seppi v Nishikori||Seppi +4.5 ($1.80)|
|Raonic v Cilic||Cilic WIN ($1.53)|