ATP Monte Carlo Tennis Odds, Predictions For Djokovic vs. Davidovich Fokina, Musetti vs. Paire (April 12)
Julian Finney/Getty. Pictured: Novak Djokovic practices ahead of the Monte Carlo Masters.
The action in Monte Carlo is heating up, and if Monday’s matches are any indication, we’re in for a treat.
Two matches from Tuesday’s order of play have also stuck out as having value, including Novak Djokovic versus Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Read on for two plays to think about from Tuesday in Monte Carlo.
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Lorenzo Musetti (-240) vs Benoit Paire (+192)
7 a.m. ET
Lorenzo Musetti had a solid first week of his clay-court season, making the quarterfinals of Marrakech. However, he fell in straight sets to Laslo Djere in that match.
Against Djere, Musetti struggled in all facets of his game, winning just 54% of his service points and 31% of his return points. However, in his previous two matches in Marrakech against Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Carlos Taberner, the Italian had won 67% of his service points and 47% of his return points.
Musetti’s form is improving and his game is built for clay. Musetti is fast around the court and anticipates well. His variety is fantastic, as he has beautiful touch with both his drop shots and net game. Musetti’s consistent depth is also superb.
Benoit Paire hasn’t played during the clay season yet, pulling out of the Oeiras Challenger due to an injury. Paire is just 3-10 on the season and he lost in three sets to Henri Laaksonen in his most recent match in Miami.
Paire does have a 59% career winning percentage on clay. In addition, his three ATP Tour titles have all come on clay. With that said, last season the Frenchman only went 7-13 on the dirt and has struggled with both motivation and form.
When Paire is playing well, he’s very tough to beat. He has an incredible backhand that he uses to control the baseline and he has sublime touch around the court. Despite this, his forehand is very weak and a major weakness in his game.
Paire has the best shot on the court in his backhand and the worst in his forehand, and Musetti has the tennis IQ and defensive game to understand how to construct points that allow him to hang in there against Paire’s backhand until he can exploit the forehand.
The charismatic Paire’s physical status is also an unknown, as is his motivation level. Paire has also been known to throw the towel in for many matches and if Musetti can jump on him quickly, that could be the case here.
In terms of Elo ratings, Musetti’s overall Elo is 84.2 points higher and his clay-court Elo is 106.3 points higher than the Frenchman’s.
Back Musetti to cover this spread.
Pick: Musetti -3.5 games (-110 via FanDuel)
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (+610) vs Novak Djokovic (-850)
9 a.m. ET
Davidovich Fokina beat Marcos Giron 7-5, 6-3 to start his Monte Carlo campaign. It was a nice bounce-back performance from Davidovich Fokina after losing his first match in Marrakech to Federico Coria.
Against Giron, Davidovich Fokina won 74% of his first-serve points and 68% of his second-serve return points. Davidovich Fokina broke Giron’s serve five times.
Davidovich Fokina will try to use this win to gain some momentum on the clay, where he has won 63% of his matches over his career. The Spaniard moves very well and has an incredible drop shot. He also gets good depth on his groundstrokes and is very consistent, with opponents struggling to break him down.
Novak Djokovic has not played since Dubai, when he lost in the quarterfinals to Jiri Vesely. Djokovic, who has barely played this season due to his vaccination status, will be desperate for a good result in Monte Carlo.
The world No. 1 is an incredible clay-court tennis player. The Serb has an 82% career-winning percentage on clay and went 18-3 on the dirt last season. That included winning the French Open final over Stefanos Tsitsipas from two sets down and beating Rafael Nadal in the semifinal.
Djokovic’s backhand is the best in the world, he can effectively control the baseline with his forehand and he’s an incredible spot-server. With that said, given his lack of matches, whether or not he will be rusty or in a rhythm from the baseline in this match remains to be seen.
The 20-time slam champion will win this match if he’s playing near his capabilities. He is better from the baseline, has a better serve and is a better mover than the Spaniard. However, Davidovich Fokina is an adept clay-courter who is solid from the baseline and can keep Djokovic off-balance a bit with his variety.
Trusting Djokovic, who has only played three matches all season, to come into this match in great form and cover this spread seems like a big ask.
Pick: Davidovich Fokina +5.5 games (-114 via FanDuel)