Well we didn’t get any of our outright winner predictions right yesterday, as there were ‘shock wins’ for underdogs Trungelliti and Andujar, and Elise Mertens played one of the best matches of her career (that i’ve seen anyway) in beating Sabalenka.
It wasn’t all bad yesterday though, the traders amongst you should have profited nicely from Bolelli winning the first set against Trungelliti, and maybe also if backing the match would go three sets, as anticipated. No luck in the Sabalenka or Edmund matches though, as they went the complete opposite to what i suggested, and with no hint of a comeback by the eventual losers.
Onto today, and my focus is going to be on a few matches from Monte Carlo, the first ATP Masters 1000 event from the picturesque Monte Carlo Country Club in France.
Donaldson vs Ramos
This is an interesting one, Donaldson is making good steady progress as a player, whilst Ramos appears to be on the decline. The Spaniard was the top seed in Marrakech last week, and managed to lose in straight sets to Vatutin in the First Round, in what was a dismal display. Donaldson favours the quicker courts for sure, and has less favourable clay court serve and return stats than his oppoent today, however I think Ramos is far too short here, I think he will struggle against Donaldson strong serve and groundstrokes, i’m siding with the American to win this.
Djokovic vs Lajovic
This is Djokovic’s first match on the clay since he lost to Dominic Thiem at the French Open in June last year. His struggles have been well documented, and i’m not sure that he is quite in the right place mentally at the moment. Lajovic on the other hand is coming off the back of a good tournament win on the hard courts of Guadeloupe, and has already played 2 qualifying matches here over the weekend. He will be used to the conditions, and the speed of the courts and his consistent game style won’t make it easy for Djokovic, who has found it hard to hit winners with consistency of late. I think the stats here are irrelevant, as they would encompass the time where Djokovic was a different player to what he is at the moment, so will give a false reflection as to where his level is at, I think Lajovic can go well here, i certainly have him down to win a set, and quite conceivably win this match.
Herbert vs Lorenzi
Another match between a man in form and a man out of form. Herbert has won his last 2 matches on the dirt, whereas Lorenzi has lost his last two. Herbert has held serve 92% of the time in those matches, against Lorenzi’s 52%. Neither player have returned particularly well, both around the 36% mark for return points won, however with Lorenzi’s awful service stats of late, expect Herbert’s figure to be much higher than that today. I don’t want to draw sole conclusions from purely the last 2 matches from these two, as it is such a small sample size, however with Lorenzi having lost 14 of his last 16 matches and Herbert having won 11 of his last 16, this paints a strong picture as to the likelihood of the outcome of this one. Side with the Frenchman to win, and add further misery to Lorenzi’s poor start to the season.