Monte Carlo Masters Day 5 Predictions Including Rafael Nadal vs Grigor Dimitrov

Day four at the Monte Carlo Masters saw the legendary Rafael Nadal, eleven times a champion in Monte Carlo, easily beat his countryman Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-1, 6-1. In fact, not one singles match in Monte Carlo yesterday went the distance. But will we see tighter encounters on day five?

Monte Carlo Masters Day 5 Predictions

Daniil Medvedev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

Head to Head: 3-0 Medvedev

Monte Carlo will become heated when world #14 Daniil Medvedev and world #8 Stefanos Tsitsipas duel. Medvedev has been in total control this tournament, not dropping a set in his two matches so far. Indeed, he has not yet lost more than three games in an entire match. Tsitsipas had a little bit tougher time against Mikhail Kukushkin in his Monte Carlo opener, but he was still able to finish the match in straight sets, besting the Kazakh 6-3 7-5.

This is a highly anticipated matchup due to their first meeting in Miami, where Tsitsipas insulted Medvedev at the net. It is clear that these two players do not like each and it should be a fiercely contested encounter as a result. Medvedev seems to have the matchup advantage, as he leads the head to head 3-0. However, none of Medvedev’s victories have come in straight sets and all have come on hard courts. This match will likely be decided by whether Tsitsipas is able to handle Medvedev’s flat ball and whether he can hang in there mentally. While clay will give Tsitsipas the surface advantage, there looks to be a mental block for the Australian Open semifinalist against Medvedev. Expect the Russian to pull out the win.

Prediction: Medvedev in three
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Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz

Head to Head: Never Played

Top seed Novak Djokovic will look to improve from his first match when he takes on world #65 Taylor Fritz after struggling past Philipp Kohlschreiber in a tight three-setter in the second round. However, given his impressive track record on clay, one can expect Djokovic’s level to improve. Fritz has not dropped a set so far, beating Tsonga when the Frenchman retired during the second set before picking up a very impressive win over clay-court specialist Diego Schwartzman. Fritz was able to use his heavy forehands to control the match against Schwartzman.

Critical to the outcome of this contest will be whether Fritz is able to keep the ball in play, while taking massive risks on his serve and groundstrokes. Fritz is not a natural on clay, and he is playing the best player in the world, so he will need to be at his very best to have a chance. Djokovic’s defensive skills are almost without equal, but he can also summon fearsome offence when he needs it. But what makes him truly dangerous, is his ability to turn a point on its head with a single shot. Unfortunately for the American, that quality will almost certainly see Djokovic prove far too much for him.

Prediction: Djokovic in two
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Grigor Dimitrov vs Rafael Nadal

Head to Head: 11-1 Nadal

World #28 Grigor Dimitrov will be the latest to face up to the seemingly impossible task of beating Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo as they battle for a quarterfinals spot. Dimitrov is rediscovering his form after an indifferent start to the season, collecting two solid victories over Matteo Berrettini and Jan-Lennard Struff. Nadal, after a month on the sidelines, put his injury worries aside and showed why he is still the undisputed king of clay by destroying Roberto Bautista-Agut, for the loss of just two games.

The head-to-head is overwhelmingly in favor of Nadal, with the Spaniard leading 11-1. That includes a semifinal clash in Monte Carlo last year when Nadal dispatched Dimitrov with ease 6-4 6-1. Ultimately, although there have been encouraging signs for Dimitrov in the Principality, if Nadal plays anything like his best tennis, he should have far too much for the Bulgarian once again. Expect him to target the Dimitrov backhand, long the 27-year-old’s Achilles’ heel, with his own whipping topspin forehand. That seems certain to be a winning strategy for the great Spaniard.

Prediction: Nadal in two
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Fabio Fognini vs Alexander Zverev

Head to Head: 2-0 Zverev

World #3 Alexander Zverev will be expecting a tough test from Fabio Fognini with a quarterfinal spot on the line in Monte Carlo. Zverev claimed an impressive 6-1 6-4 victory over the rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime, storming to the first set and not panicking when down a break in the second set. Fognini, meanwhile, has really been struggling this year, including on his preferred clay. In fact, his win over Rublev in the first round of this tournament was his first victory on the red dirt this year. And Fognini had to work hard for that win, going down a set and a break, before snapping into gear to rally to a 4-6 7-5 6-4 win.

Zverev leads the head-to-head 2-0, including a victory on his way to the title on the clay courts of the Foro Italico in Rome in 2017. Zverev won that match comfortably, only losing six games. Indeed, their other matchup, in Beijing, also saw Zverev lose only six games. This matchup will come down to whether Fognini can successfully counter-punch against Zverev’s formidable power. But given how straightforward their first two matches proved for the German, along with Fognini’s questionable form, the Italian’s chances of pulling off the upset seem slim.

Prediction: Zverev in two

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