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Favourites through in Monte Carlo

by Jonas Eriksson

Like I wrote in my previous post with the predictions of the third round in Monte Carlo Masters, Federer, Nadal and Murray all come through, but it wasn’t easy.

Murray, for example, looked down and out at 2-6 0-3 vs Paire. But Paire is a streaky player and Murray is a fighter and everyone knew there was a chance of the tables turning. Murray ended up winning the set 7-5 but when Paire was serving for the match at 5-4 in the decider, most people must have thought: “this is it”. But there are few more nerve-wrecking things than serving out a match against a better opponent and Paire buckled and lost three straight games and the match.

Painful for the Frenchman who possesses a wide array of shots and shotmaking, but his head often seems to get the better of him. Hopefully he can learn from this experience and work on finding his inner cool, because today he really should have won.

Nadal was also in trouble against Thiem, but managed to righten the ship at the exact right time and won a match that Steve Tignor described magnificently in this post

I really believe Thiem can be a future number one, but the mistake I think he did in this match was that he got himself too far into Nadal’s comfort zone and in there there’s really only Djokovic who can hurt the Spaniard.

Talking about Spaniards, Federer played Bautista-Agut and like in their previous four meetings, didn’t give him a set. It was a classic Fed-Express delivery, 6-2 6-4, and this sets him up for Tsonga who beat Pouille.

The Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final line-up (find the draw here in pdf)

Monfils – Granollers. Monfils made short work of giant-slayer Vesely and looks to be in great form. I think he takes this relatively easy.

Tsonga – Federer Federer was impressive against Bautista-Agut, but Tsonga is a tougher cookie. Still feel like Fed will pull through. Possibly in three.

Nadal – Wawrinka Should be the blockbuster match, but Wawrinka has a hard time with Nadal usually. On the other hand, Wawrinka was ruthless against Simon…anyway, Nadal wins, but let’s hope for a fight!

Raonic – Murray
Murray is not playing well, but Raonic doesn’t really have the game for clay. What gives? I think Murray takes it in three just on his fighter reputation.

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