ATP Monte Carlo Day 2 Predictions Including Karen Khachanov vs Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman in action at the ATP Monte Carlo Masters.
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The road to Roland Garros is underway as the ATP heads to Monte Carlo for the first Masters 1000 clay-court event of the season. The biggest names in the sport will be in action this week looking to raise the trophy on Sunday at the ATP Monte Carlo Masters. The day-two slate is loaded with intriguing matchups and, as always, we at LWOT will be bringing you our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Borna Coric vs Jannik Sinner and Stan Wawrinka vs Alexander Bublik. But who will advance?

ATP Monte Carlo Day 2 Predictions

Pablo Carreno Busta vs Sebastian Baez

Head-to-head: first meeting

13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta will take on 21-year-old qualifier Sebastian Baez in the first round at the ATP Monte Carlo Masters. Carreno Busta comes into this match having won just two of six matches since the Australian Open, but the Spaniard will doubtless be glad to be back on the clay. He will be looking to at least replicate his 2021 run to third round here in Monte Carlo. Sebastian Baez is one of the ‘NextGen players’ on the ATP Tour and will surely be targeting some deep runs of his own over the coming weeks.

Hailing from Argentina, Baez has shown the same preference for the clay as many of his compatriots. He won two, three-set battles in the qualifying to enter into the main draw, getting the better of former French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato and then ninth seed Kamil Majchrzak. Both players are incredibly consistent from the back of the court, but Baez does not appear to have any weapons that can really hurt Carreno Busta. Because of that, the veteran should be the player to advance.

Prediction: Carreno Busta in 3
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Fabio Fognini vs Arthur Rinderknech

Head-to-head: first meeting

Italian Fabio Fognini and Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech are squaring off for the first time in what should be an entertaining first-round battle in Monte Carlo. Fognini made a run to the Rio semifinals earlier this season and holds a 4-2 clay-court record in 2022. Rinderknech, by contrast, has yet to play a match on clay this season. The Italian’s career winning percentage on clay is over 10% higher than that on hard court so he will doubtless be glad to be back on the clay.

He may also be particularly glad to be back in the Principality. He won this event in 2019, which remains the biggest title of his career, and reached the quarterfinals in 2021. There is something about Monte Carlo (namely the passionate support from the largely Italian crowd) that brings the best out of Fognini making him very tough to beat. Rinderknech, meanwhile, has been too inconsistent of late to expect him find his footing here.

Prediction: Fognini in 2
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Alex de Minaur vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles

Head-to-head: first meeting

World #25 Alex de Minaur is making just his second career trip to the Monte Carlo Masters. His one previous visit ended in a first-round loss in 2021. His opponent, 25-year-old Bernabe Zapata Miralles, is making his main draw debut at this event. The Spaniard won two hard fought qualifying matches over Kwon Soon-woo and Joao Sousa to reach the main draw. The one advantage Zapata Miralles holds heading into this clash is the number of matches he has played on the clay recently.

But although he has been playing plenty of matches on the clay, he hasn’t been winning that many of them. He is just 5-7 on the surface this season and only one of those has come at tour-level. He lost it 0-6 3-6 to Facundo Bagnis. This will be de Minaur’s first clay-court match of the season, but despite that, the Australian should cruise through this match. Zapata Miralles simply does not have the firepower to puncture de Minaur’s defences.

Prediction: de Minaur in 2
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Karen Khachanov vs Diego Schwartzman

Head-to-head: Khachanov 2-2 Schwartzman

This will be the fifth meeting between Karen Khachanov and Diego Schwartzman, but the first on clay. Neither player comes into this match in the best of form, but both will be looking to kick off the clay season on the right foot. Khachanov is 0-3 in his last three matches having not won a match since February. Schwartzman, meanwhile, picked up just one win during the Sunshine Double, missing out on what was a great opportunity for him to inch back towards the top-10.

Regardless, both players have proven to be effective on clay and real threats in Monte Carlo. Khachanov must be able to find a rhythm early if he is to have any chance in this match. He has the power to hit through just about anyone when he is on song, but the Argentine can be a frustrating opponent to play against at the best of times and Khachanov has not exactly shown a high-level of mental fortitude of late. For that reason, expect Schwartzman to have the edge.

Prediction: Schwartzman in 2

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