The Biggest Favorites For Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo (photo: Florian Heer)

STARNBERG, April 10, 2022

The Monte-Carlo Masters is nearly upon us, with the 115th edition of the tournament set to begin on the 10th of April. The first of the three ATP Masters 1000 events which is played on clay, there is no shortage of tennis greats to have won here, indicative of the high-quality field which it typically draws. This year is no different, though there will be a couple of notable absentees. The most significant of these is Rafael Nadal; by far the most successful player at this event in history having won it an incredible 11 times, he’ll miss with a rib injury, while world number two Daniil Medvedev will also be absent due to a recent operation on a hernia. Despite their absence, however, there are still plenty of the world’s best set to headline the event, so let’s take a look at some of the favourites to take it out according to the betting sites.

Novak Djokovic

It’s been a rocky start to the year for Novak Djokovic. He missed the Australian Open in unprecedented fashion after being denied entry to Australia due to his vaccination status, but the 20-time Grand Slam winner is still hanging on to his position as world number one – albeit by the skin of his teeth – despite having only played in one tournament all year. And with world number two Daniil Medvedev set to miss, Djokovic will have a chance to extend his lead at the top in Monte Carlo. Of course, clay isn’t Nole’s strongest surface, but he’s still a hell of a lot better on it than most people in the world and has won this event on two occasions in the past, in 2013 and 2015. He might be lacking match practice as a result of his slow start to the year, but Djokovic’s preparation is second to none and he will no doubt be fit, firing, and fully expecting to win this event.

Alexander Zverev

One of the Djoker’s biggest challengers at the event will be Alexander Zverev. Unlike Djokovic, the German has had plenty of match practice to start the 2022 season, though that hasn’t translated into quite the results that he would have liked. Zverev was knocked out in straight sets in the Round of 16 at the Australian Open by Denis Shapovalov, and while he made the final at his next event in Montpellier, he has suffered a couple of disappointing results since. He lost two of his next three matches at first Acapulco and then Indian Wells, before he made something of a positive return at the ATP Masters Miami by making it through to the quarter-finals, where he was defeated by Casper Ruud. Following that indifferent start to the season, Zverev will no doubt be pleased to move to the clay, a surface on which many rate him among the best couple of players in the world. He hasn’t enjoyed the success he would have liked at Monte Carlo – his best performance is a semi-final appearance while he’s been knocked out in straight sets in the Round of 16 three of the last four times he’s played there – but regardless, he has to be considered among the main hopes this year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Rounding out the list of favourites is reigning champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who won here last year in an extremely impressive display in which he didn’t lose a set throughout the tournament. The win came in his third appearance at the event, and though the first two didn’t exactly yield results to write home about, he has for the past few years been climbing into the reckoning as one of the best in the world on the surface. He was a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2020, and soon after his win at Monte Carlo last year fell agonisingly short of winning a maiden French Open when he lost in five gruelling sets to Djokovic. The 23-year-old enters the tournament following a strong start to the 2022 season which has seen him make an Australian Open semi-final, as well as a final in Rotterdam and another semi-final in Acapulco. None of those strong performances have resulted in event wins, but he has to be considered a genuine chance of becoming the first player not named Rafael Nadal to win back-to-back Monte Carlo Masters titles since 2003.

Nadal has had a virtual monopoly on the Monte Carlo Masters for close to two decades, having won 11 of the past 16 incarnations of the event, but his absence leaves the door ajar this year. There are plenty of chances heading into the tournament, but Djokovic, Zverev and Tsitsipas lead the pack. Djokovic and Tsitsipas have, as mentioned, already won here in the past, while for Zverev it seems like only a matter of time until his penchant for clay translates into a little more silverware, so expect this trio to be tough to beat.