Monte Carlo Masters 2021 starts today! Will Rafa repeat his many successes in the kingdom or will we see a new winner?
The clay-court season is in full swing and the first Masters of the year on the red dirt starts today. Let’s have a look at the Monte Carlo Masters 2021 draw. Keen to hear your thoughts about this tournament. Another Rafa title or can we expect the world number one Novak Djokovic to make a statement?
This is how the ATP Tour website describes Rafa’s potential for Monte Carlo Masters title number 12 (!):
Nadal will attempt to secure a record-extending 12th Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title in the Principality. The lefty owns a 71-5 record at the tournament, where he has fallen short of the quarter-finals just once, and that occasion came on his debut in 2003 as a 16-year-old (he defeated World No. 7 Albert Costa in the second round). The third seed, who fell in the 2019 semi-finals against Fabio Fognini, will begin his run this year against Adrian Mannarinoor a qualifier. Sixth seed Andrey Rublev is a potential quarter-final foe.
There is no denying that Rafa must be the favorite going into this tournament. But, we haven’t seen him play in a while and there is a high likelihood that we will see some rust and nerves early in the tournament.
Why is Rafa so successful at the Monte Carlo Masters?
Number one: he is the “King of Clay”. The second reason is that the courts in Monte Carlo (especially at this time of year) play slower than Madrid or Rome. The court speed at the French Open and the Monte Carlo are pretty similar and that is one strong reason why Rafa has the best results in those two tournaments.
When Rafa feels at home at a tournament – he is extra dangerous.
What about Novak?
Novak has won the Monte Carlo Masters twice, but he has not played since the Australian Open and has quite a rough draw with either Jannik Sinner or Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round. Both players have shown good form. Sinner reached the Miami Masters finals (lost to Hurkacz) and Ramos Vinolas reached the semi-finals at the ATP 250 in Marbella, where he lost a tight match to Pablo Carreno Busta in a final set tie-break.
But Novak is Novak. You can’t really discard him.
Are there other players?!
Who else has a chance of winning in Monte Carlo? Medvedev has had a semi-final run there and is always “in the mix”. Fabio Fognini won in 2019 and is dangerous on the red dirt (although he hasn’t shown much in terms of form this year). Tsitsipas should be there, but it’s hard to see him attacking his way to a title. Or what about Felix Auger-Aliassime that is now coached by Toni Nadal?
Check out the Monte Carlo Masters 2021 Draw below.