The quarterfinals are here! The top two players in the world, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, have moved on to the next stage of their quest to win the title. Will Djokovic and Nadal continue to advance? Let’s find out!
Monte Carlo Masters Quarterfinal Predictions
Dusan Lajovic vs Lorenzo Sonego
Head to Head: Never Played
Two surprise quarterfinalists battle, as World No. 48 Dusan Lajovic takes on World No. 96 Lorenzo Sonego. Lajovic has had a very impressive run to the quarterfinals, beating David Goffin and Dominic Thiem in straight sets in his last two matches. Lajovic showed great composure when Thiem got the break advantage in the second set, and broke three times more to win the match in two sets. Lorenzo Sonego had to come through qualifying to gain admission to the main draw. However, once in the main draw, Sonego has done a lot of damage, not dropping a set in the main draw, which includes a win over Karen Khachanov.
These two players have never played before. Sonego has played significantly more matches on clay this year than Lajovic, which includes qualifying and making the quarterfinals of Marrakech last week. However, Lajovic has the higher ceiling on clay, and the better wins this tournament. Give me Lajovic in a tight match.
Prediction: Lajovic in 3
Guido Pella vs Rafael Nadal
Head to Head: 2-0 Nadal
World No. 35 Guido Pella will face a very stiff challenge when he takes on World No. 2 Rafael Nadal. Pella has had a very good season which includes his first title on the clay in Sao Paolo. This tournament has also been very successful for Pella, and includes swing over Marin Cilic and Marco Cecchinato. Rafael Nadal is an 11-time Monte Carlo and Roland Garros champion. He has had no issues so far this tournament, losing two games to Roberto Bautista-Agut, and five games to Grigor Dimitrov. The Monte Carlo Masters title is Nadal’s to win.
Nadal leads the head to head 2-0, and has never dropped a set against Pella. At the French Open last year, Nadal only dropped four games in three sets and bulldozed through the Argentinian. Expect a similar result this time around, as well.
Prediction: Nadal in 2
Borna Coric vs Fabio Fognini
Head to Head: 1-0 Fognini
It will almost certainly be a tight match when World No. 13 Borna Coric takes on World No. 18 Fabio Fognini. Coric has really had to grind his way through this tournament, including a win over Jaume Munar which took nearly 3.5 hours. Coric is so good at staying in points and is one of the most fit players on the ATP Tour. Fabio Fognini has put a rough start to the year behind him, as he beat Alexander Zverev in straight sets today. When the moment is large, Fognini seems to step up his game.
Fognini leads the head to head 1-0. However, his victory came in a tight three-setter back when Coric was very young. In any case, while Coric is doing great to get through his matches (and won much more easily against Herbert today), when Fognini’s groundstrokes are firing on clay, he can almost take the racquet out of his opponents’ hands. Fognini also loves playing Nadal, who is his potential semifinal opponent. Fognini’s game just seems more dynamic than Coric’s this tournament, and I like him to get it done in a tight three-setter.
Prediction: Fognini in 3
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev
Head to Head: 3-0 Djokovic
It is sure to be a physical battle when World No. 1 Novak Djokovic battles World No. 14 Daniil Medvedev. Djokovic seems to have put his shaky first round match behind him, and lost only three games during his thrashing of Taylor Fritz. It was exactly the type of match that could boost Djokovic’s confidence enough to make him a threat to Nadal on clay. Medvedev has had a great tournament. Despite the fact that his flat game is not suited very well for clay, he destroyed opponents in his first couple matches and then outlasted Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets in his previous match. This was a very impressive win given how good Tsitsipas’ prowess on clay.
The head to head is 3-0 to Djokovic, which includes an extremely physical four-set win at the Australian Open this year. Both players should come into this match expecting long rallies. However, while Medvedev has improved a lot on clay, I don’t think he is quite at the level where he can outlast Djokovic on the dirt. In a match closer than the score line indicates, Djokovic wins.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
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