Home Articles Five contenders to win the Monte Carlo Masters ATP 

Five contenders to win the Monte Carlo Masters ATP 

by GP
Masters 1000 Monte Carlo betting on clay

The first clay court Masters 1000 tournament of 2024 has arrived! Who will make their mark in the Monte-Carlo Masters and capture the title? I outline five contenders who may have what it takes to slide into the clay season with a bang (in no particular order). 

Jannik Sinner, current world no 2

Jannik Sinner 

The 22 year old Italian has been the standout player on the ATP tour this year. He secured his maiden grand slam title in Melbourne earlier this year, claimed the ATP Rotterdam title, just recently won the Miami Open and has lost only one match so far in 2024 (to Carlos Alcaraz in the Indian Wells Semi Final). The big question as we head into the clay court swing is if he can translate his excellent hard court form on to the red dirt.

Sinner himself has admitted he needs to improve his form on clay after modest results on the surface so far in his career. He has won just the one tournament on clay and that came in the 2022 Croatia Open in Umag; an ATP 250. The Italian lost a tight semi-final last year to fellow young star Holger Rune and will be looking to better that result this year; especially given the rich vein of form he is currently in.

He has the Dane in his quarter this year; in addition to Medvedev and Zverev in his half but will be thankful to avoid Djokovic or Alcaraz until the final.  

It would be surprising to see Sinner not go deep in Monaco. I do think this new and improved version of Sinner will not only excel on hard court but clay and grass; the Italian has improved and added to his game physically, tactically and mentally.  

Career Win % on Clay: 68.3% 

Previous Best Result at the MC Masters: Semi-Final (2023 vs Rune) 

Outright Winner Odds:

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic 

The 24 Grand Slam Champion goes into this tournament with a lot of questions surrounding him. 2024 so far has not gone the way he, or most of the tennis world would have expected.

0 titles in 2024, the recent shock loss to Luca Nardi and with no head coach at present (he recently split ways with Goran Ivanisevic); what can we expect from the two-time Monte Carlo Champion? The fact Novak has only won in Monaco twice tells you that he tends to start his clay court swing slowly to then peak come Rome and Roland Garros.

He has not made it past the third round in Monaco since 2019. This year could be similar, and we could see yet another potential upset as we did in previous years when he fell to Dan Evans, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Lorenzo Musetti respectively. However, Novak may have added motivation given his lack of form as of late; in addition to the fact that the Olympics later this year will be held on clay. Will he want to peak earlier and for a longer period this time of year?

His early practices with Holger Rune on the tournament courts indicate that he is looking sharp; time will tell come match time. He is in a tough half with Carlos Alcaraz as a potential semi-final opponent. If I have learnt anything from watching Djokovic in moments when his form has dipped, it is not to count out the Serb. He is arguably the biggest competitor the sport has seen and that is why he makes my Top 5 Contenders. 

Career Win % on Clay: 80.4% 

Previous Best Result at the MC Masters: Champion (2013 and 2015) 

Outright Winner Odds:

Holger Rune

Holger Rune

Like his recent practice partner in Monaco, Rune has not had the 2024 he would have wanted so far. It has been a disappointing showing by the Danish star.

He crashed out of the Australian Open in the 2nd Round; and most recently was beaten shockingly 6-1 6-1 by Maroszan in Miami. That loss should maybe be played down after Rune came out in the aftermath stating that he had been struggling with illness. Holger will be looking to put the first quarter of the year behind him and focus on the clay where he has fond memories.

He made two Masters finals on clay last year; in addition to winning the Bavarian International title. Despite his recent underwhelming form, I expect a pick-up in level from the Dane in the Monte Carlo Masters. His exemplary defensive skills and gritty determination make him a tough prospect on the red dirt for anyone. He lost the final last year to Andrey Rublev in 3 sets and will be looking to go one better this year to secure his maiden clay court Masters title.  

Rune could face Berrettini or Dimitrov in the early rounds; the potential of a Sinner quarter-final also looms. Can recently reappointed Patrick Mouratoglou reignite the spark the tennis world is yearning to see yet again?  

Career Win % on Clay: 60.7% 

Previous Best Result at the MC Masters: Final (2023 vs Rublev)

Outright Winner Odds:

Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz

Despite being quoted as saying his favourite surface is hard court; it is hard to look past the Spaniards prowess on clay. His results speak for themselves; having won more titles on the surface than any other in his career to date.

However, his Monte Carlo results in prior years does not make good reading. He pulled out of the tournament in 2023 and lost to American Sebastian Korda in 2022. The courts are not as quick as Madrid; where he has come out victorious in the last two years and faster clay courts/ slower hard courts seems to be the real sweet spot for Carlitos. This was highlighted further when he hit top form this year to retain his Indian Wells title.

The question for Carlos will be if he can get to grips with the surface and conditions quickly in Monaco. He will most likely face Felix Auger-Aliassime (he faces a qualifier in Round 1) in his first match; who he has a losing head-to-head with. The matchup is a bit misleading though as it stands at 4-3 to the Canadian but Alcaraz has won the last two times they have faced off.

The Spaniard also has a potential quarter-final with Casper Ruud and semi-final with budding rival Novak Djokovic. Undoubtedly the Spaniard, following a real dip in form, could go deep; if not take the title. I would be extremely surprised if he does not at least better his result from 2022

Career Win % on Clay: 81.8% 

Previous Best Result at the MC Masters: Round of 32 (2022 vs Korda) 

Outright Winner Odds:

Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev

The reigning Monte Carlo champion will be looking to retain his title in style. The Russian has had a mixed season so far. He won in Hong Kong and made at least the quarter-final stage from the start of the year until the Dubai Tennis Championships. However, since his controversial default in the semi-finals of that tournament he has struggled for form.

It may be a coincidence that his form has taken a downwards turn since that incident, but I imagine it has had a somewhat negative effect on his mentality. Now the clay court swing is here, he will look to reset and recreate what was one of the best moments of his career. His initial section of the draw does not look too challenging, but he has the ominous prospect of Djokovic at the quarter-final stage and his record against the Serb leaves a lot to be desired (Novak leads the head-to-head 5-1).

However, Andrey will arguably have the best chance of beating Novak in the Monte Carlo Masters if they were to face off; given the Serb’s form at this tournament in recent years paired with Rublev’s prowess on clay. The one-time Rublev beat Djokovic was on clay in Serbia.

As Andrey boasts firepower from the back of the court you may think he would be most suited to the quicker courts on tour. He can hurt you in those conditions there is no doubt about that, but the slower red dirt gives the Russian the opportunity to make a higher % of forehands than he would on any other surface and that is his most potent weapon. A weapon that is not only struck with force and pace but with high topspin which produces a heaviness of ball that results in great penetration through the court.

I expect to see Rublev back to near his best in this tournament and he will be dangerous for anyone if he is confident on these Monaco courts. 

Career Win % on Clay: 66.3% 

Previous Best Result at the MC Masters: Champion (2023) 

Outright Winner Odds:

Written By Faizan Chaudhrey 

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