The ATP’s Monte Carlo Masters begins second-round play on Tuesday while finishing out the first round. That’s where we’ll pick up our tennis picks.
On Monday, we saw a total of 10 different singles matches on the men’s side. Some of the highlights included Alexander Zverev topped Andreas Seppi. We also saw Albert Ramos take care of Renzo Olivo in straight sets. Nicolas Almagro needed three sets to get by Martin Klizan, which was one of five matches that went the full five sets. One of those being Tomas Berdych, who had a surprisingly tough time with Andriy Kuznetsov.
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s action, all remaining second-round matches will be played on Wednesday before any third-round matches are played on Thursday. Here are our tennis picks for the day.
Adrian Mannarino vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Second Round)
The all-French clash is intriguing because one doesn’t know what Mannarino is fully capable of. The journeyman has never risen too high in the rankings, but every now and then, he does something which catches the eye. He almost beat Andy Murray at the U.S. Open a few years ago. He has reached the second week of Wimbledon. On Monday, he beat a solid (albeit struggling) clay-court player, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. He’s playing solid tennis at the moment. The question becomes: Can Mannarino quickly turn around from that match and play another strong two hours of tennis against Tsonga?
Here’s something to realize about the Monte Carlo schedule: Some first-round matches at a Masters tournament will be followed by a rest day and then a match two days later. In this case, however, Mannarino has to play back-to-back days. If he can win Tuesday, he’ll get a day off on Wednesday before the third round, but right now, he’s being squeezed by the demands of the schedule. It will be tough for him to immediately bounce back against an opponent, Tsonga, who is fresh and who has won a couple of ATP Tour titles this year. Tsonga also made the semifinals in Monte Carlo last year – he knows how to play well at this particular tour stop. The situation is simply very tough for Mannarino here. Take Tsonga with your tennis picks here.
Pick: Tsonga in straight sets
Gilles Simon vs. Novak Djokovic (Second Round)
This is a much-anticipated clash because it will test where Djokovic is in terms of his health and the state of his tennis game. All signs appear good after Djokovic played in the Davis Cup quarterfinals with Serbia and then on Monday in doubles with countryman and friend Viktor Troicki. He seems ready to make a run at the title, though Rafael Nadal is the favorite for the event. Simon, meanwhile, is known for being a tireless and determined opponent who will run down lots of shots. Can he find ways to hit winners in this match? It will be hard for him to do so on red clay, a slow surface, against Djokovic’s strong defense. The contours of the matchup point to a Djokovic victory. Take him with your tennis picks.
Pick: Djokovic in straight sets
Borna Coric vs. Jeremy Chardy (First Round)
This is a fascinating match because of the tension points involved. On one hand, Borna Coric has just won his first ATP Tour title, having beaten Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Marrakech final on Sunday. He will be playing with great confidence. On the other hand, winning a first title was an emotionally and physically draining experience, and now Coric has to come right back on court instead of getting even a single week off. He has to get off a plane, reset his focus, try to get some rest, and play against Chardy, who is erratic but talented. The heart of the matter is this: Coric can win this match in two sets, but if he has to go three, his legs will probably give way. The margins are smaller for Coric, so the better course seems to be Chardy, but it’s a very close call. Take Coric with your tennis picks in this spot.
Pick: Chardy in three sets
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