Tennis | ATP Monte-Carlo 2022 | Next generation takes centre stage as second round action continues

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Carlos Alcaraz [8] v Sebastian Korda
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime [6] v Lorenzo Musetti
  • Alexander Zverev [2] v Federico Delbonis
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – The next generation take centre stage as the second round action continues at the Monte-Carlo Rolex masters with a place in the last 16 at stake on the road to Roland Garros.

 

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Carlos Alcaraz [8] v Sebastian Korda  H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Carlos Alcaraz [8] v Sebastian Korda H2H: Alcaraz leads 1-0
ATP Monte-Carlo Monte-Carlo, Monaco
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Carlos Alcaraz has arrived at Tennis’ elite at just 18 years-old after his recent triumph at the Miami Open to claim his maiden masters 1000 title. The Spaniard has power, variety and agility on his side as he now approaches what is arguably his favourite time of year. Clay is a surface where he won his first ATP title and also where he won his first ATP 500 title of his career at Rio De Janiero. Now Alcaraz is looking to cement his place as one of the dark horses for the Roland Garros title as the clay court season rolls on.

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Alcaraz’s first opponent of the week is another player who is taking the tour by storm and that is Sebastian Korda. The young American made deep runs at grand slams over the last 12 months and also claimed the first title of his career on the clay in Palermo last season. The American mixture of agility, power and variety makes him a tough player to get past and now looks to take that form and convert it into more silverware on the tour.

This should be a fascinating match-up and a first chance to show how Alcaraz deals with pressure and expectation having just won his first masters 1000 title. Korda’s returning ability and point construction will be the key to the American winning here but Alcaraz’s defensive power should be enough for the Spaniard to edge through a close opening match in Monaco.

Prediction: Alcaraz in three sets.

 

Felix Auger-Aliassime [6] v Lorenzo Musetti H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Felix Auger-Aliassime [6] v Lorenzo Musetti H2H: Tied at 1-1
ATP Monte-Carlo Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Clay (O) Prize Money: €39,070
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Felix Auger-Aliassime has had a rough last few tournaments after a very good start to the season that saw him reach the Australian Open quarter-finals and win his first ATP title in Rotterdam. Now Auger-Aliassime looks to take his confident and big-hitting style of play into the clay court season as he looks to make a deep run at Roland Garros, something that he is yet to achieve in his career.

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Standing in his way is Lorenzo Musetti who is more than capable of thriving on clay having been so close to beating Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros last year. The Italian hasn’t had much success on the tour since then but will look to bring his aggressive tennis mixed with athletic ability to the big stages more consistently over this clay court swing.

Auger-Aliassime’s ability to neutralise points could be crucial here with Musetti’s defensive qualities still lacking consistency and quality. The Italian will be hoping his firepower and time on the ball will see him take advantage of a slightly vulnerable Auger-Aliassime. However should the Canadian’s serve and return be consistent enough then he should have more than enough for the raw Italian.

Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in three sets.

 

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Alexander Zverev [2] v Federico Delbonis  H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Alexander Zverev [2] v Federico Delbonis H2H: Zverev leads 2-0
ATP Monte-Carlo Monte-Carlo, Monaco
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Despite what he might tell you, Alexander Zverev has struggled to deal with the pressure this season with the German yet to win an ATP title in 2022. Zverev’s antics with his behaviour have certainly and now with the pressure growing the world number three now needs to rise to the occasion on his best surface. Can Monte-Carlo be the turning point in Zverev’s season?

Zverev’s first clay court match of the season will not be easy with the German now facing clay-court specialist Federico Delbonis in his opening match. The Argentinian’s ability to turn defence into attack on this surface has proven deadly and he has all the tools and shots to cause an upset here.

Zverev will need to serve big and produce hard-hitting, deep shots on a consistent basis to stand a chance here. The German can’t let Delbonis have time on the ball or he will face a tough afternoon at the office in Monaco. Despite Zverev’s troubles this season the German’s heavy shots will see him stumble over the finishing line here.

Prediction: Zverev in three sets.

 

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