An intriguing first round match-up is scheduled to take place on Tuesday afternoon in Monte Carlo, as Grigor Dimitrov and Fernando Verdasco cross paths to determine who will advance to the following round of the tournament. This marks the third time that these two competitors will cross paths on the ATP World Tour, with the head-to-head series tied at 1-1.
It has been a tumultuous few months for the Bulgarian No. 1. Dimitrov has not won consecutive matches since the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne. Since then, he has alternated wins and losses four consecutive tournaments, including Indian Wells and Miami in March. He most recently beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the opening round in Miami but then lost to John Isner in the following round.
In his opening match on clay, the Bulgarian will come up against Fernando Verdasco, who is coming off a strong week in Houston. He reached the semi-final stage of the clay court event before Sam Querrey downed him, who would go on to lose to Jack Sock. While Verdasco may not have won the tournament, he managed to earn three wins on clay, which better prepares him for Monte Carlo than his upcoming opponent.
This marks the third time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, and will serve as a rubber match, since the head-to-head series is tied at 1-1. Verdasco won their first encounter on the clay court in Bastad, but Dimitrov rebounded with the more recent win in Beijing. However, given that this match-up will take place on clay, the odds should favour the player better prepared for this surface, and has historically performed better.
Prediction: Fernando Verdasco in Three Sets