A thrilling quarterfinals at the ATP Monte Carlo Masters that ended with a dramatic comeback from a top seed leaves us with one surprise matchup and one that looks to become a career-long rivalry. Regardless of outcomes, the finals will feature a top seed vs an unseeded player. Should be fun, but who will it be? We share our thoughts.
ATP Monte Carlo Semifinals Predictions
Grigor Dimitrov vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Head-to-head: Davidovich Fokina 1-0 Dimitrov
Neither of these two players was expected to be here in the semifinal, but they should be considered favorites to go deep again next year given their historical success at this tournament. Dimitrov is now 19-8 here, with excellent wins including recently over Casper Ruud, while Davidovich Fokina is now 7-1, including wins over Novak Djokovic and Taylor Fritz. Neither has excelled otherwise this year, but something about Monaco brings out their best, it seems.
This match, though, is very difficult to call. Dimitrov leads by a little in most categories, but Davidovich Fokina won their lone matchup, and it was on clay. And while the young Spaniard is gaining a reputation as a clay court specialist, Dimitrov actually has a higher win percentage on the surface. Both have knocked off high quality players en route to the semifinal, but neither was playing exceptional prior to arriving in Monaco. Dimitrov is a veteran who can be dangerous from time to time, but who hasn’t made a final since 2018. Davidovich Fokina is a young player who may or may not be rising, and who has yet to reach a final himself.
So nothing is clear; and when nothing is clear we usually pick a match in three. Most of the stats point to Dimitrov, but I like Davidovich Fokina’s head-to-head victory, and I think he is going to want it more.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 3
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Alexander Zverev
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 6-3 Zverev
The next chapter in what has already been a long rivalry. And the page of this tournament has read exactly the same for both of these men: each cruised in straight set victories into the quarterfinals, on the backs of first round byes, then faced a stiff test from quality competition that ended in a tight victory. Zverev eked out a win over Jannik Sinner in a third set tiebreak, and Tsitsipas had to fight back from 4-0 down in the third against Diego Schwartzman.
Ultimately, this semifinal was expected, and we can expect everything we ever expect from these two. This should be a hard-fought battle with intelligent play and lots of power, neither yielding much nor breaking down mentally. Schwartzman had some success targeting Tsitsipas’ backhand, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that tactic from Zverev. I would also look for Tsitsipas to take advantage of his superiority at the net, knowing it is the German’s weakness.
In looking for an advantage, we find that not only does Tsitsipas lead the head-to-head, but he has won both their matchups on clay. Each was a tight battle, and I would expect the same here. And without much having changed since any of their other matchups, I would expect the reigning champion to move on to the final stage of his title defense after a three-set thriller.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 3
Main Photo from Getty.