ATP Monte Carlo - DRAW: Novak Djokovis sets Carlos Alcaraz clash!

Jannik Sinner, Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev are in the bottom half

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Monte Carlo - DRAW: Novak Djokovis sets Carlos Alcaraz clash!
© Clive Mason / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The third Masters 1000 event of the season in Monte Carlo will gather the world's best players. An 11-time champion Rafael Nadal withdrew before the draw, and all eyes are set on Novak Djokovic, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz and their upcoming battle for the ATP throne.

Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Holger Rune, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas will seek a deep run at their first clay-court tournament of the season. Novak Djokovic will seek his third Monte Carlo title and the first since 2015, not playing well at this event in recent years.

Novak fell to Lorenzo Musetti in a thriller a year ago, hoping for a better run next week after failing to win an ATP title in the opening three months of the season.

Monte Carlo draw© Stream screenshot

Djokovic will face Roman Safiullin or a qualifier in the second round before embracing a possible re-match with Lorenzo Musetti if the Italian passes Taylor Fritz and Arthur Fils.

Alex de Minaur faces Stan Wawrinka in the opening match, with the defending champion Andrey Rublev looking to advance from this part of the draw and face Djokovic in a possible quarter-final. Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud lead the second quarter-final, with Felix Auger-Aliassime, Zhizhen Zhang, Ugo Humbert, Hubert Hurkacz and Jiri Lehecka standing in their path.

Alcaraz conquered Indian Wells before falling to Alexander Zverev in Miami, seeking his sixth Masters 1000 crown and the first in the Principality. Thus, we could get the semi-final clash between Djokovic and Alcaraz, like at Roland Garros a year ago.

Novak and Carlos battled for a place in the final and the ATP throne, and the more experienced player scored a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 win, reaching his 34th Major final. Carlos grabbed the second set before cracking under pressure at the beginning of the third, feeling cramps in his entire body and dropping 12 of the final 13 games!

Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev lead the third quarter, with Nicolas Jarry, Karen Khachanov, Cameron Norrie and two-time winner Stefanos Tsitsipas as their main rivals. Medvedev has lost three notable finals this season, while Zverev seeks a place in his first title match of the year.

Lorenzo Musetti & Niovak Djokovic, Monte Carlo 2023© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner lead the Monte Carlo draw.

Tsitsipas plays against Laslo Djere in the first round, desperate for a deep run after a slow start to the season and an 11-6 score.

The ATP Race leader and the Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner leads the bottom quarter, seeking another good run in his first event on clay this year. Sinner has won three out of four tournaments in 2024, lifting two notable titles and entering the top-2 for the first time.

Jannik is in a brilliant position to take the ATP throne from Djokovic in the next two months, not defending too many points on the slowest surface. The Italian faces Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or Sebastian Korda in his first match, sharing the quarter-final with last year's finalist Holger Rune.

Andrey Rublev & Holger Rune, Monte Carlo 2023© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The Dane did not play at his best in Miami, suffering a tough loss and hoping for a better run on clay. Holger has to beat rivals like Grigor Dimitrov, Matteo Berrettini, Miomir Kecmanovic and Matteo Arnaldi en route to a possible clash against Jannik.

In the title clash a year ago, Rublev ousted Rune 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 after two hours and 34 minutes, celebrating his first Masters 1000 crown after a notable comeback. Rune left the second set behind and made a fresh start in the decider, opening a 4-1 advantage and creating a break chance in game six that could have sent him closer to the top.

Andrey saved a break point and delivered two breaks to emerge at the top and lift a notable trophy. Rublev landed 30 winners and 23 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and welcoming Rune's 50 unforced errors. The Russian suffered four breaks from eight chances offered to the Dane.

Holger faced 19 break points and got broken six times, feeling the pressure and cracking under it in the final stages. Andrey forged the lead in the shortest, mid-range and most extended rallies, keeping his composure and earning the trophy.

The young gun fired a forehand return winner in the sixth game of the opener, forging a 4-2 advantage. Rublev stayed focused and broke back in the next game after Rune's forehand mistake. The Dane saved a break point in the ninth game and produced a fine hold at 5-5, keeping the pressure on the other side.

Jannik Sinner, Monte Carlo 2023© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Rublev cracked under it, spraying a forehand mistake in the 12th game and handing the opener to his rival after 56 minutes. Andrey shifted into a higher gear from 2-2 in the second set, earning a break in the fifth game and securing another at love at 4-2 after Holger's double fault.

Rublev served for the set in game eight and held at 30 with a service winner, introducing a decider after an hour and a half. Rune denied the opponent's game points in the second game of the final set with crashing returns and forced Rublev's mistake for a break and a 2-0 advantage.

A teenager cemented the lead with a service winner in game three, moving closer to the finish line. Holger denied a break point in the fifth game with a booming serve and drew Rublev's mistake for a hold and a 4-1 advantage.

The Dane could have sealed the deal in game six after creating a break chance. The Russian erased it with a powerful serve and held after the rival's basic forehand error, remaining within one break deficit. Andrey broke back at 15 in game seven after Holger's wild backhand and held in the next one for 4-4.

Rublev cracked a backhand crosscourt winner in the tenth game, holding at love and making the final push on the return in the next one. Rune played a poor game, losing serve after a double fault and sending Rublev 6-5 in front. Andrey served for the title in game 12 and landed an ace on a match point, celebrating his first Masters 1000 crown.

Jannik Sinner Alexander Zverev Daniil Medvedev