ATP Monte-Carlo, 3rd Round Preview: Stan Wawrinka v Grigor Dimitrov

In case you missed it, episode 100 of the No Challenges Remaining Podcast finally emerged last night… it’s an absolute cracker as it has interviews with Jelena Jankovic, Ernests Gulbis and Andrea Petkovic.  The opening will be enough to send you into a fit of giggles.  Also, Petra Kvitova’s blog with BBC Sport was very interesting this month as she gave us some insights to why she pulled out of IW and Miami.  I’m delighted that she will be back in Fed Cup action this weekend.  There have been numerous announcements for the grass court season with Nick Kyrgios and Milos Raonic both confirmed for Queens and Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka and Lucie Safarova also added to the slate for Birmingham.  There is still no news about Eastbourne although the British Tennis Twitter account has said that player announcements should come in the next few weeks.  A heads up that i’ll be publishing a special pre-Stuttgart post tomorrow evening so make sure to check back for that and give it some love (please!).   In the meantime, here’s my first proper ATP preview in a while for Wawrinka-Dimitrov in Monte-Carlo on Thursday…

DimitrovThe first match of the day in what is another dreamy schedule in Monte-Carlo will see the defending champion, Stan Wawrinka go up against Grigor Dimitrov.  15 of the 16 seeds in the draw have gone through to the third round promising a great day of action.  Wawrinka faced a dangerous first match on clay against the in-form, Juan Monaco.  After suffering losses to Robin Haase and Adrian Mannarino in Indian Wells and Miami respectively, Wawrinka started on a clean slate for the clay court season with a reasonably comfortable, 6-1 6-4 victory.  Wawrinka began the year in fine form, winning two titles in Chennai and Rotterdam, and reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open.  However, since Rotterdam, he had lost more matches than he had won before this tournament.  He remains an inconsistent player, but one that you cannot ignore.

Since a gutting fourth round loss to Andy Murray in Melbourne, Dimitrov has been stuttering.  Two wins in Monte-Carlo has been an encouraging development for Dimitrov and a feat he hadn’t achieved since the Australian Open.  His first round win over Fernando Verdasco was a real confidence boosting victory.  In an excellent encounter, Dimitrov was forced to come back from *0-40 down when serving for the match and save seven break points before finally serving out the win, 6-4 4-6 6-4 in two hours and 27 minutes.  Dimitrov backed up that win over the Spanaird with a much cleaner performance in a straight sets victory over Fabio Fognini, 6-3 6-4.  Dimitrov served particularly well with 75% of first serves in and winning 83% of points behind it.

Wawrinka leads the head-to-head with Dimitrov, 2-1 and won their only match on clay in Madrid, 3-6 6-4 6-1. It was Dimitrov who won their last match in Queens with a sauntering display.  The grass suits Dimitrov more than Wawrinka so the result wasn’t that surprising.  Wawrinka is much more at home on the clay.  Dimitrov has lost his last seven matches against top 10 players and he will probably have to play his best match of the year to reach the quarters.  I like Stan on the clay and I think he’s going to do well over the next couple of months…

 Prediction: Wawrinka d. Dimitrov in 3 sets

ATP Monte-Carlo 3rd Round Predictions

Roger Federer d. Gael Monfils in 2 tight sets

Rafael Nadal d. John Isner in 2 tight sets

Novak Djokovic d. Andreas Haider-Maurer in 2 sets

Milos Raonic d. Tommy Robredo in 3 sets

Tomas Berdych d. Roberto Bautista Agut in 2 tight sets

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. Marin Cilic in 2 sets

David Ferrer d. Gilles Simon in 2 sets

WTA Bogota 2nd Round Predictions

Tatjana Maria d. Mariana Duque-Marino in 3 sets

Alexandra Panova d. Julia Glushko in 2 tight sets

Yaroslava Shvedova d. Sachia Vickery in 3 sets

Monica Puig d. Nicole Gibbs in 3 sets

34 thoughts on “ATP Monte-Carlo, 3rd Round Preview: Stan Wawrinka v Grigor Dimitrov

  1. I agree with you picks except for Cilic over Tsonga, probably wishful thinking, and I’m going to go on a limb and say Monfills beats Federer (or its an easy straight sets win for Roger).


    • Cilic just anyhow managed to overcome the first round, the match could have gone to the German , Cilic was lucky to manage somehow.I still feel he is not upto his 100% fitness and even Tsonga is on a comeback spree.Will be an interesting match to watch but it will be over in 2 sets with Tsonga’s win.Monfils form is not that great after that injury that he can trouble Roger..It will be an easy win for him.


      • Monfils game really bothers Fed. I think not being the crowd favourite REALLY gets to him and Gail knows that.


      • And with Cilic, like I said, it’s wishful thinking. But he has the game to beat Tsonga. He can do everything John can do much better.


  2. I couldn’t agree with you more on all the eight ATP match predictions, but still feel one or may be maximum two upsets are on the corner.Also Berdych’s match can strech to 3,Agut is very unpredictable, you never know when he can come with a set of brilliance and also doubt Wawrinka’s form.


  3. I think Marino has a bit of chance to make an upset. Panova will also find it difficult to get going if she is not at her best.Her game has not quite got off after that Sharapova’s match in AO.


  4. Seems a “Day of Upset” at Monte Carlo Today….lets see if Jokovic holds it…he will be the biggest of them all if he gets a boot like Roger got.


  5. Yessss @ Cilic and Monfills both coming through.
    Marin Cilic could well be one to watch over the clay season if he plays anything like this…


  6. Dimitrov for me, although Monfils knocked out Fedex, Dimitrov will not be that easy for him, he is an bully and a big stage player having much more wins with top 10 players than Monfils


    • I’d go for Monfils. I haven’t watched enough tennis this week to make valid arguments but i’d (surprisingly) have more faith in Monfils over Dimitrov.


      • The inconsistency of Monfils is the reason i am not going with him. Anyways i am staying away from markets for this one seeing no value in this match because of Monfils unpredictabilty.You never know which version of Monfils is turning up.The one against Federer or against Kuznetsov.


  7. Am very confused for the Berdych vs Raonic one, seeing yesterdays match in which Raonic was not very comfortable with his serve and less number of aces that led the match extended to 3 sets with Robredo.I guess thats the reason for so short odds for Berdych which shouldn’t be.Any comments and insights?


  8. I think it’ll be raonic 2-1 or berdych 2-0 coz of the toe injury raonic has. I did read tho that raonic coach said his all go for the match


    • I think Ferrer is playing more convincingly than Nadal, but I’m hoping Rafa goes through as I want a semi between him and Djokovic.


      • Its all on Nadals racket really. He’s the one with the bigger weapons. All Ferrer can do is force him to rack up ufe’s, but that’s something he’s very good at doing.
        I’m more interested in the Cilic vs Djokovic match. Marin showed Tsonga the game that won him a Slam. And Cilic vs Djokovic @ Wimby last year was one of my favorite matches of the whole year.


  9. David Ferrer really playing some shockingly bad tennis right now. I can’t say I’m overly impressed with Nadal but we’ll see tomorrow against Djokovic I guess.


      • He is like a phoenix….a real gutsy fighter…i always love his never die attitude….inspirational in all walks of life no matter whether you win or loose…a 100 percent effort man


      • Yeah, its just a shame that he has to be down and out before he plays like this. He’s really working Nadal over now and Rafa is playing pretty damn well himself.


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