Day 4 of the ATP Monte Carlo Masters brought us some tasty upsets, as top seed seed Novak Djokovic was knocked out along with the in-form Miami champion Carlos Alcaraz. Day five has plenty of big names and interesting matchups, and as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for all eight matches, including Andrey Rublev vs Jannik Sinner. But who will reach the last eight?
ATP Monte Carlo Day 5 Predictions
Casper Ruud vs Grigor Dimitrov
Head-to-head: Ruud 1-0 Dimitrov
Casper Ruud is playing very well this year, with a 14-4 record that includes two finals appearances and a title. He is fresh off his best showing at a 1000 event, a finals appearance on hard court, and he generally plays better on clay. He has to be considered one of the favorites to win the tournament. Dimitrov has played mediocre this year, although he has generally fared well in Monte Carlo (eventually losing to Nadal just about every year). The matchup favors Ruud by quite a bit, and not just by the numbers; Ruud’s heavy ball, forehand and backhand, should be a problem for the lighter strokes of the Bulgarian (think Nadal’s forehand to Federer’s backhand). And Ruud should be hungry and confident after his excellent Miami run.
Prediction: Ruud in 2
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Laslo Djere
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 1-0 Djere
Tsitsipas is another favorite to win it all, and nothing in this matchup suggests a roadblock for the Greek. Djere does like clay, and he did push Tsitsipas to two tiebreaks in their lone matchup earlier this year, but this is strength vs strength, and Tsitsipas has simply had more strength consistently. His wins this year have been good, and he is the reigning Monte Carlo champion, while Djere has only just logged his first victories ever at this tournament, and his first victory over a top 50 player this year. I would expect longish rallies, with Tsitsipas directing the pace and strategy, and simply outclassing the Serb when it comes to pulling the trigger on winners.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Alexander Zverev vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Head-to-head: Zverev 2-0 Carreno Busta
This looks to be a better match in name than in quality. Neither player has performed particularly well for their ranking this year; Zverev has no high quality wins since early January, and Carreno Busta just logged his first win over a top 40 player this season when Alexander Bublik retired in the third set of Round 2. The matchup favors the German in all respects, though not heavily; the best indicator of advantage is his higher win percentage on clay (by 16%). That number, combined with Zverev’s general better play, points us in his direction, but I don’t have confidence in either player against the other right now.
Prediction: Zverev in 3
Taylor Fritz vs Sebastian Korda
Head-to-head: first meeting
This should be a good matchup. Fritz is fulfilling his promise as a tennis player, having risen to #13 in the world after logging one of the best victories of anyone all season, in the Indian Wells final over Nadal. That said, his results can be as inconsistent as later juuuuust squeaking past the #430 player in the world in Round 1 of the current tournament.
Korda, meanwhile, has just taken down one of the hotter players on tour in Carlos Alcaraz, while continuing his slow mosey up the rankings to #42. He is not very experienced on clay, but he has a better win percentage than Fritz (who gave his fans a breather by following up his Round 1 near-disaster with a win over Marin Cilic). Fritz’s big serving will be blunted by the clay (only eight aces over six sets this tournament), and I think Korda’s slower style will be favored, if only a little.
Prediction: Korda in 3
Main Photo from Getty.