All eyes shall be on Rafael Nadal on the Monte-Carlo Nation Membership subsequent week as he begins his clay-court marketing campaign for a record-extending twelfth Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters crown.
Over the previous 15 years, the Spanish celebrity has largely dominated every spring European swing, and it’s within the Principality the place, most of the time, he has laid down an early marker to his rivals. Nadal has received 71 of his 76 matches in Monte-Carlo, together with an Open Period file eight consecutive titles from 2005 to 2012 and an extra three crowns from 2016 to 2018.
On the eve of the 2021 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, which begins on Sunday, ATPTour.com seems at 5 contenders who might pose a risk to Nadal’s hopes of claiming a thirty sixth ATP Masters 1000 trophy.
Novak Djokovic – Greatest Monte-Carlo Efficiency: 2013 & 2015 champion
Reminiscences of how shortly Nadal dismantled the World No. 1’s sport within the 2020 Roland Garros ultimate might linger, however Monte-Carlo resident Djokovic can also be notoriously robust within the Principality. The Serbian celebrity picked up the 2013 and 2015 titles, when he beat Nadal within the ultimate and semi-finals respectively, and comes into this yr’s version well-rested after capturing a file ninth Australian Open title in February.
Learn Mind Recreation Evaluation: How Nadal’s First-Strike Technique Smothered Djokovic
Djokovic and Nadal have met 25 occasions on clay throughout their legendary 56-match ATP Head2Head rivalry, which Djokovic leads 29-27, however Nadal has an 18-7 benefit of their crimson filth clashes that features 4 matches in Monte-Carlo. Nadal, who beat Djokovic within the 2009 and 2012 Monte-Carlo finals, has received their previous 4 clay-court matches (2017 Madrid, 2018 & 2019 Rome and 2020 Roland Garros).
Ought to the pair meet within the Monte-Carlo ultimate on 18 April, each shall be near prime kind, and such a match will come all the way down to small margins. Twelve of their 25 clay matches have include a trophy on the road (Nadal leads 8-4).
Djokovic vs. Nadal in Monte-Carlo
||Nadal 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
||Nadal 6-3, 6-1
||Djokovic 6-2, 7-6(1)
||Djokovic 6-3, 6-3
Daniil Medvedev – Greatest Monte-Carlo Efficiency: 2019 semi-finals
With a 10-18 profession file (.357) on crimson filth, it may be mentioned that Medvedev has but to seek out his clay ft. However the Russian, who additionally resides in Monte-Carlo, proved in beating Djokovic en path to the 2019 semi-finals, that he’s able to robust performances on the floor. Whereas Nadal leads Medvedev 3-1 of their ATP Head2Head sequence, the pair has by no means met earlier than on clay courts.
Learn: Medvedev Beats Nadal In London
World No. 2 Medvedev will definitely be assured, ought to he face Nadal in Monte-Carlo, the place he trains frequently, having received his final 10 matches of 2020 and his first 10 matches of 2021, a run that included 12 victories in opposition to eight completely different Prime 10 opponents. The 25-year-old beat Nadal 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 within the semi-finals on the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals. Medvedev has gotten off to a 17-3 begin this season, together with serving to Russia seize the ATP Cup crown. He went on to succeed in the Australian Open ultimate (l. to Djokovic) and lifted his tenth ATP Tour title on the Open 13 Provence in Marseille (d. Herbert).
Stefanos Tsitsipas – Greatest Monte-Carlo Efficiency: 2019 Third Spherical
The Greek star got here again from two-sets-to-love down in opposition to Nadal in a 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5 quarter-final victory on the Australian Open in February, which represented his first win over the Spaniard for the reason that 2019 Mutua Madrid Open semi-finals. That day on crimson filth, Tsitsipas received 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 and the 22-year-old might fancy his possibilities of beating Nadal once more, so early within the clay swing, if the chance arises in Monte-Carlo.
Learn: Tsitsipas Completes Epic Comeback In Melbourne
Tsitsipas has been in robust kind to this point this season, compiling a 17-5 file, which features a semi-final run at Melbourne Park (l. to Medvedev) and a ultimate look on the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC (l. to Zverev). Tsitsipas, who has a 1-3 file in ATP Tour clay-court finals, misplaced his final clay-court match to Nadal 6-3, 6-4 within the 2019 Internazionali BNL d’Italia semi-finals.
Diego Schwartzman – Greatest Monte-Carlo Efficiency: 2017 Quarter-finals
The Argentine, who will characteristic in Monte-Carlo for the fifth time subsequent week, shall be aiming to attract upon his reminiscences of beating Nadal en path to his first Masters 1000 ultimate in September final yr on the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Schwartzman entered Rome with an 0-9 file in opposition to Nadal, however held his nerve to triumph 6-2, 7-5 within the quarter-finals.
Learn & Watch: Schwartzman Stuns Nadal In Rome
The 28-year-old Schwartzman went on to beat Dominic Thiem in 5 hours and eight minutes to succeed in his first Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros, the place Nadal avenged the Rome loss with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(0) victory. Schwartzman, who has a 3-3 file in clay-court finals, picked up the Argentina Open trophy in Buenos Aires (d. Cerundolo) final month.
Fabio Fognini – Greatest Monte-Carlo Efficiency: 2019 Champion
At his easiest, the 33-year-old Italian can beat anybody, notably on clay, a floor on which he has recorded 9 of his 15 Prime 10 victories. World No. 18 Fognini, who will try and retain his 2019 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters crown subsequent week, is not going to concern Nadal, having received three of their 9 matches on crimson filth.
Learn & Watch: Fognini Beats Nadal In 2019 Monte-Carlo Semi-finals
Fognini beat Nadal twice on clay in 2015 within the Rio Open introduced by Claro semi-finals and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell third spherical. In his emotional run to the largest title of his profession two years in the past, Fognini recorded a shock 6-4, 6-2 victory within the 2019 Monte-Carlo semi-finals. Nadal holds the upper-hand, 13-3 of their ATP Head2Head sequence, two months on from beating Fognini 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 within the Australian Open third spherical.