7 players that could win the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters plus 1 complete outsider
It’s the most glamorous tournament of the year, held in the small principality on the south coast of France, home to the super rich and super famous. But for one week of the year (since 1969) it hosts the Monte Carlos Masters
This traditional opening to the clay court season for the top players on the ATP tour has seen most of the World’s greatest clay courters lift the ‘Coupe de S.A.S Le Prince Souverain’ trophy at some point in their career.
Legendary names from the red dirt such as Illie Nastase, Guillermo Vilas, Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl, Sergi Brugera, Thomas Muster, Marcelo Rios, Gustavo Kuerten, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Novak Djokovic have all held aloft the coveted mens singles trophy.
But no-one can lay claim to this tournament in the same way as Rafa Nadal having won a total of 11 mens singles titles here since he first triumphed back in 2005. Will anyone challenge him for a 12th title in 2019?
Here’s the tennishead guide to the top 8 potential contenders for the Monte Carlo Masters mens singles title in 2019…
ATP Ranking: 2
Monte Carlo Masters seeding: 2
Nadal rarely plays much tennis in the run up to the clay court season as he likes to rest himself before his busiest and most important time of the tennis year. This always makes it hard to predict the sort of form he might be in or more importantly if he’s fit and healthy. But we haven’t seen any signs that he isn’t 100% fit which makes him our favourite to win another Monte Carlo Masters.
ATP Ranking: 1
Monte Carlo Masters seeding: 1
Some surprisingly indifferent form in the past few tournamwnts has led many commentators to say that Djokovic is distracted and not focussed on his tennis, but he’s the holder of 3 Grand Slams and is gunning for another ‘Djokovic Slam’ if he wins the French Open this year. We predict that his form will come good on the clay but maybe not in time to win Monte Carlo, but never discount him!
ATP Ranking: 3
Monte Carlo Masters seeding: 3
Another top player struggling for form in the biggest tournaments but his scintillating play on the clay last year and a huge victory at the end of year ATP Tour World Finals have shown everyone that he has the game and the mentality to win the biggest events. He also now has Ivan Lendl in his team and we all know what that did for Andy Murray. Depending on the draw at the Monte Carlos Masters he could surprise us and make the final.
ATP Ranking: 5
Monte Carlo Masters seeding: 4
Excluding Nadal, Thiem was last years best player during the clay court season and his form in 2019 is better than ever having won Indian Wells. The main concern is whether he will tire himself out before Roland Garros. A recent news story questioning his relationship with his legendary coach Gunther Breznik has also thrown doubt on his state of mind. At best we predict a semi-final spot at the Monte Carlos Masters this year.
ATP Ranking: 6
Monte Carlo Masters seeding: 5
You can never discount the battling Japanese and his record on the dirt is impressive having won twice in Barcelona and made the final in Monte Carlo last year. But his form isn’t quite up to the level of 2018 after a lengthy injury spell at the end of last year. This year is probably slightly early for him to really show his prowess on the slippery stuff in the Monte Carlo Masters.
ATP Ranking: 8
Monte Carlo Masters seeding: 6
As yet to prove himself on the clay, Tsitsipas is having a breakout year having made the semi final of the Australian Open. Can he convert that form into a good run at the Monte Carlos Masters? We will see if he can answer the big question as to whether his game will stand up on the clay. Having been brought up on the surface many believe he will come good soon.
ATP Ranking: 13
Monte Carlo Masters seeding: 9
The ultimate grinder Coric has the perfect game to succeed on clay but these days you need to be able to hit just as many winners as you do on other surfaces. Will Coric be able to play more aggressively and overcome his naturally defensive tendencies? His form is excellent but he’s still to go really deep in a big Masters tournament.
ATP Ranking: 16
Monte Carlo Masters seeding: 11
Our wild card to have a good tournament at the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters. Cecchinato made his name at the 2018 French Open beating Djokovic on his way to a semi final spot narrowly losing out to Dominc Thiem. Many thought the young Italian would be a one tournament wonder but he’s consolidated well and reached a career high 16 in the world. Watch out for a great clay court season and some big upsets from this player.
If you can’t visit the tournaments you love then do the next best thing and read our guide on how to watch all the ATP Tour matches on television in 2019