The 2021 Monte-Carlo Masters features the best male tennis players in a fantastic, beautiful venue. This year, the first round is full of amazing and high-quality match ups. Indeed, this will cause some great players to exit the tournament early. However, this is some great entertainment in the view of the fans. Nonetheless, here are the best first round matches of the 2021 Monte-Carlo Masters.
Best First Round Matches at the 2021 Monte-Carlo Masters
Taylor Fritz vs Roberto Bautista Agut
This will be their sixth encounter between the two players as the Spaniard has the lead with four wins and one loss. That one loss was on clay, but it was back in 2019 in the Lyon Open. The veteran Spaniard dominates their head-to-head, but the American has improved his game since then.
Taylor Fritz is not the best on clay, so the Spaniard has a clear advantage as he is great on clay. No doubt this will be an interesting match and we will see if the American will change his style of play to adapt against the Spaniard. Both players come from playing great tennis in the Qatar Open and will look to translate that success onto the clay courts.
David Goffin vs Marin Čilić
This head-to-head is all even after eight meetings so whoever wins will take the lead. It is important to point out that their last meeting, the Croatian won easily in straight sets in a clay match at the Masters 1000 Rome Open. The only time the Belgian beat the Croatian on clay was in their first meeting ever in a Fed Cup match back in 2016.
This match will be a great one as both players want to start their clay court season with a win. Both have not been playing to their full capacity but will try to turn things around and what better way to do it in an important event as this one.
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Gaël Monfils vs Pablo Andújar
The French player leads their head-to-head with four wins and no losses. Clearly, he has the edge on the Spaniard who will try to beat him for the first time in his career. Both veteran players are great in clay and have had previous success in this surface.
The Spaniard has been playing in clay courts the most out of the two as of late. He played in clay court events in Argentina and Chile. This will be his third clay court event, so we will see if that plays into his favor. On the other hand, Gaël Monfils has not played since his early first-round exit at the Australian Open.
It will be interesting to see how the French player will play after a long break. This is a great opportunity for Pablo Andújar to get his first win over the French player.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Cristian Garín
Interestingly, both have played twice against each other in clay court events, splitting the matches. Whoever wins will be ahead in their head-to-head and will be with a lot of confidence as the tournament continues. The Chilean has played two clay court events already and won his home event.
We will see how the Montreal native will transition from hard courts to clay courts in a tough match. The young Canadian has added Toni Nadal as part of his coaching team, and we will see how that can improve his style of play. Toni Nadal has been played an important role in the success of Rafael Nadal, widely considered the greatest all-time player on clay.
This match will be a great match between two young players who are hungry for success. Both will look to win and advance to the next round in a tough first round match.
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Albert Ramos Viñolas vs Jannick Sinner
This will be their first meeting and it clearly will be a great one. The veteran Spaniard has played in clay court events reaching the final in the Cordoba Open and the semifinal in the Buenos Aires Open. He is currently in another clay court event in the Andalucía Open where he lost in the semifinals.
The young Italian is coming from reaching the final in the Miami Open and will look to transition his great form into this clay court event. This may be his first clay court event, but he his coming in a hot form. He’s a promising talent and will look to stop the Spaniards hot run in the clay courts.
Fabio Fognini vs Miomir Kecmanović
The reigning champion, Fabio Fognini, will face a tricky opponent in his opening match. The young Serbian is playing some fine tennis and has some clay court tennis under his belt. He has played in the Cordoba and Buenos Aires tournaments. In Buenos Aires, he reached the semifinals and lost to the eventual champion, Diego Schwartzman.
Fabio Fognini comes from losing his round of 16 match against Jaume Munar in straight sets at the Andalucía Open. He will also be under pressure as he is the last player to win this event, back in 2019. The Italian defeated Dušan Lajović in the final in straight sets to win his biggest title so far. On route to this magnificent title, he defeated Rafael Nadal in the semifinal and will be in the eyes of everyone.
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Great First Round Matches
Many great matches will be played in the first round of the Monte-Carlo Masters as the players are transitioning from hard courts to clay courts. Each player will want to start the clay court campaign in the right form. These matches are the best ones, and no question will produce some high-quality tennis. We will see if the most recent champion can start on the right foot and see if other contenders can try to move on to the next round.
Main Photo from Getty.