Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Who Will Take the Trophy Now Novak Djokovic is Out?
With Novak Djokovic out of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, the trophy is there for the taking. The Tennis Review looks at the eight quarter-finalists and asks who is most likely to win the clay season’s first ATP 1000 title?
Stan Wawrinka (4)
Before Novak Djokovic’s upset at the hands of Jiri Vesely, Stan Wawrinka was widely considered the man most likely to beat the world No.1 if anyone was going to do so.
The Swiss is the reigning Roland Garros champion, beating Djokovic in the final to achieve that feat, and is the 2014 Monte Carlo champion.
His 6-1, 6-2 victory over Gilles Simon in his last sixteen match is a sign of his fine form, and when Wawrinka hits that kind of form, he can be pretty unstoppable.
The two time slam champ is capable of beating everyone in the draw and has defeated Federer, Nadal, Tsonga and Murray all convincingly on clay the last few years.
Great clay history, a difficult match up for the rest of the draw, and playing at the top of his game, it is hard to look past Wawrinka as the man most likely to take the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters trophy.
Roger Federer (3)
Monte Carlo is one of only two ATP 1000 tournaments Federer has not won (the other is Rome) and the four time finalist will be very motivated to rectify that situation.
Federer has been playing well this event, taking advantage of favorable match ups and getting things done in straights. He hit 29 winners in his last sixteen win over Roberto Bautista Agut.
The Swiss’ draw from the quarters onwards features two players who have troubled him greatly in the past- Tsonga and Monfils- so things might not be straightforward from now on.
But with the 17 time slam champ feeling refreshed and his knee reacting well to match conditions, his chances of dealing with his rivals in his efficient and no nonsense way looks good.
Rafa Nadal (5)
The fifth seed and 8 time champion survived a tough 80 minute first set in the last sixteen versus Dominic Thiem and showed great fighting qualities to fend off 15 of 17 break points and to come back from a break down in each set.
Monte Carlo, the scene of eight trophies for Nadal, could be the place to reawaken the all time great clay courter in the fifth seed.
The Spaniard will need to play close to his best if he is going to get past Stan Wawrinka in the last eight, and if he achieves that his confidence could be back to the level he needs it to be at if he wants to win ATP 1000 titles again.
Andy Murray (2)
Murray did what he does better than anyone bar Djokovic against a redlining Benoit Paire in the round of 16. The Scot hung in as winner after winners flew past him and when Paire started to think about the prospect of a win over the world No.2 a set and two breaks up and began to wobble, Murray pounced.
The Scot bounced back again in the third set when Paire served for the match, playing his best tennis when he really needed it.
Unless the more aggressive players in the draw overwhelm him, Murray could potentially fight and frustrate his opponents all the way a second career ATP 1000 clay title.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (8)
Tsonga can catch fire now out of nowhere it seems, and if he can get to the business end of an event, he can collect the trophy with his impressive serving and unpredictable game just like he did when he defeated Djokovic, Murray and Federer on his way to the 2014 Canadian Open trophy.
Milos Raonic (10)
The Canadian has been to the quarters at least of all five events he has played this year and survived a tough three setter that went all the way to a final set tiebreaker versus Damir Dzumhur in his last match.
The tenth seed likes the time the clay gives him to execute his aggressive game and his much improved baseline skills mean he is no pushover at the back of the court.
There were injury worries in his last match, though, but if his fitness holds up, and if he taps into the kind of form that saw him beat Federer for the Brisbane title, Raonic could take another step forward in what has been a great season so far.
Gael Monfils (13)
Monfils defeated Federer in Monte Carlo last season on his way to the last four and could meet the Swiss at the semi-final stage if he can get past lucky loser Marcel Granollers in the quarters.
That potential Federer match is a winnable one for Monfils who has four wins over the Swiss so the crowd favorite has a nice chance to make the final and keep his 2016 going from strength to strength.
But once Monfils gets there, the odds are stacked against him- the Frenchman has lost 18 of his 23 finals.
Marcel Granollers (LL)
Granollers, a lucky loser who replaced David Ferrer in the draw, is into his third ATP 1000 quarter-final and the Spaniard, who has beaten two of this year’s hottest players in Alexander Zverev and David Goffin, will have nothing to lose in his upcoming matches.
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