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Monte-Carlo ATP Tennis Draw: Djokovic In Difficult Half, Nadal Likely To Cruise

Rafael Nadal of Spain in action during his semifinal match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France, 21 April 2018. EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
Rafael Nadal of Spain in action during his semifinal match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France, 21 April 2018. EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Following appetizers in Marrakech and Houston, the clay-court swing offers one of its main courses next week: the Monte-Carlo Masters.

 

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are both on board, joined by Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Karen Khachanov as first-round bye recipients. Also in a loaded field are Stan Wawrinka, David Goffin, Borna Coric, Daniil Medvedev, Denis Shapovalov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Grigor Dimitrov, and many others.

 

The draw ceremony was held on Friday and it gave Nadal an even bigger advantage that what he already enjoys on the dirt even with all other things being equal. Djokovic’s top half is also home to Thiem and Tsitsipas. The world No. 1 may have to open against Philipp Kohlschreiber, who just upset him in Indian Wells.

 

That’s not to say Nadal has a cakewalk. The 11-time Monte-Carlo champion awaits either Roberto Bautista Agut or John Millman before possibly running into either Shapovalov or Dimitrov in the third round and Wawrinka in the quarters.

 

“Since the first time I came to Monte-Carlo, it’s been a love story with this event,” Nadal said during his 2018 title run. “It’s one of the most beautiful tennis clubs in the world, without a doubt, and every time I have the chance to be here, it’s a special feeling.”

 

The second seed was in doubt to get another chance this year, but appears to have recovered from a knee injury that forced him out of a scheduled Miami semifinal against Roger Federer last month.

 

“This has always been a very special place for me,” Nadal said during Friday’s draw proceedings. “I watched all of the great champions here as a kid, so it was always a dream for me to be here.”
Main-draw action begins on Sunday and will conclude the following Sunday–possibly with another Nadal-Djokovic showdown. But based on the quality of this field, we have a long way to go before considering that final matchup to be a foregone conclusion.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

Singles Draw

Doubles Draw

Qualifying Singles

Order Of Play

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