Rafael Nadal VS Roberto Bautista Agut | Monte Carlo Masters
Day 3 at the Monte Carlo Masters saw World No. 1 Novak Djokovic battle through Philipp Kohlschreiber in three tough sets. It was Djokovic’s first clay court win of the season, and almost certainly not his last. Will World No. 2 Rafael Nadal also advance in Monte Carlo? Read on to find out!
Monte Carlo Masters Day 4 Predictions
Kei Nishikori vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Head to Head: 2-0 Nishikori
One of the first matches of the day features World No. 6 Kei Nishikori taking on Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert. This will be Nishikori’s first match on clay this season, having struggled during the Sunshine Double. In fact, Nishikori only won one match between the two tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, going 1-2 over that span. After starting the season on such a high in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Rotterdam, Nishikori is suddenly struggling to find form.
Struggling to find form is something that Herbert has struggled with recently. He has not won consecutive matches since Montpellier in February. However, today, Herbert picked up a huge straight set win over Fernando Verdasco, proving that he will provide Nishikori with a stern test. However, in their previous two matchups, Herbert has been only able to get a set, although both matches were on hard courts. This match will come down to whether Herbert can serve well enough to keep sets close, and if he can attack the Nishikori second serve. If Herbert can do that, then he can win this match. However, I don’t think he will execute at a high enough level and Nishikori will force Herbert into too many long rallies for the Frenchman’s taste.
Prediction: Nishikori in 3
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Alexander Zverev
Head to Head: Never Played
A blockbuster second round matchup features rising stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alexander Zverev. Auger-Aliassime is truly rocketing up the rankings, buoyed by his runner-up at the ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro. Auger-Aliassime is currently No. 33 in the World, whereas his opponent, Zverev, is No. 3 in the World. Zverev has been towards the top of the rankings for quite some time now, giving the 21 year old a veteran feel.
Zverev played in Marrakech last week, but after beating Denis Istomin in the first round, stumbled to Jaume Munar in his next match, unable to hit through the young Spainard. Auger-Aliassime has been playing on clay for a good portion of the season already, making the aforementioned Rio final and having a good run in Sao Paolo too. He translated his game well to the hard courts in Indian Wells and Miami, before winning a tough first round match against 2019 Cordoba Open champion Juan Ignacio Londero. This match will come down to who takes the initiative and who is pushed back in the court. And given the two players’ forms, Auger-Aliassime will have the upper-hand in many rallies. Auger-Aliassime is for real.