The draw is out for the Monte Carlo Rolex Tennis Masters which begins tomorrow, and the path to a ridiculous sixth straight title for Rafael Nadal is not an easy one.
The event features five of the ATP’s top ten tennis players with Nadal, Novak Djokovic, JW Tsonga, Andy Murray and Marin Cilic. Roger Federer did not take a wildcard, although I haven’t checked the qualifying draw where he might be (ha ha).
On a quick glance, no gimmees really for anyone.
Djokovic is the top seed and in his third round could meet Stan Wawrinka followed by Mikhail Youzhny in the quarterfinals. Accomplished claycourter Tommy Robredo is also in that section and could be a Youzhny foe in the third round. Ernests Gulbis, David Nalbandian and even Horacio Zeballos are also lurking.
In the second quarter, we could have a Cilic v. Fernando Verdasco quarterfinal. Cilic is seeded to meet Marcos Baghdatis in the third round while Verdasco gets a showdown with Tomas Berdych.
The third section is arguably the easiest with Ivan Ljubicic and Murray the top players. Ljubicic is seeded to David Ferrer in the third round while Murray gets Juergen Melzer, although the Scot could open against Tomaz Bellucci.
And in Rafa section, he may have to deal with Eduardo Schwank The Tank, then Juan Monaco followed by Tsonga. In his third round Tsonga might get picked off by the resurgent Juan Carlos Ferrero. Nadal has won 27 straight matches in Monte Carlo including a win over Djokovic in the 2009 final.
In all, tough draws all around. I might give David Ferrer the best chance for reaching the quarterfinal. Cilic’s draw looks good to that stage as well. The top eight seeds get a bye so they probably will not play until Tuesday.
As for the man under the microscope, Nadal, with his road if he can come away with the title, which I think he does, that will set him up nicely for another big clay season.
I read on the other thread and saw the video of how Nadal’s knee apparently flared up in Miami against Roddick. Well, I didn’t see it. And if they had why would he be playing just 10 days later in Monte Carlo? It doesn’t add up. Not after seeing how cautious he was in Australia and not with what’s on the line for him this spring. At least I hope his knees are fine.
Projected seeded path:
3rd RD: (1) Djokovic v. (13) Wawrinka; (12) Robredo v. (7) Youhzny; (4) Cilic v. (16) Baghdatis; (10) Berdych v. (6) Verdasco; (8) Ljubicic v. (11) Ferrer; (15) Melzer v. (3) Murray; (5) Tsonga v. (9) Ferrero; (14) Monaco v. (2) Nadal
QFs: Djokovic v. Youhzny; Cilic v. Verdasco; Ljubicic v. Murray; Tsonga v. Nadal
SFs: Djokvoic v. Cilic; Murray v. Nadal
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