Pick Ruud for Monte Carlo Success

Novak Djokovic will start the Monte Carlo Masters as favorite, but Casper Ruud could be the better pick back on his preferred red clay.

Who do Bettors Favor?

The odds are not up yet, but we can be sure that bettors will be making Novak Djokovic the overwhelming favorite at all of the best-rated online sportsbooks given the absence of Carlos Alcaraz and the 11-time winner of this event, Rafael Nadal. Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has won the last two editions of this tournament is also likely to have his supporters.

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Monte Carlo Masters 2023 Betting Briefing

The Monte Carlo Masters is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world, dating back to 1897, and is considered one of the major titles in the tennis calendar, with a 1000 rating, putting it alongside the likes of Indian Wells and the Miami Open in significance.

The tournament is played on the distinctive red clay that differs significantly from the green clay surface seen in the ongoing WTA event in Charleston and marks the switch from hard courts to clay courts, handing an advantage to players who are adept at top spin and who have the physical stamina to endure the long, energy-sapping rallies that are part of clay court tennis.

The greatest of these clay court specialists is Rafael Nadal, who has won this tournament eleven times, including a sequence of eight consecutive wins. Djokovic has also won it twice, along with Tsitsipas. Australian Open winner Fabio Fognini also won this event, back in 2019.

Monte Carlo Masters Betting Favorite

Such has been the dominance of Rafael Nadal in this event that there are effectively two futures markets: one if Nadal plays, and one if he doesn’t. His absence this year means that we are looking at another market with Djokovic as the favorite, particularly as Alcaraz will not be taking part.

Djokovic’s record in this event is good, but nowhere near as dominant as Nadal’s. He has made the final four times, winning it twice, and has three semi-final appearances to his name, but he hasn’t gone further than the quarter-finals since 2015, underlying the fact that clay is his least successful court surface.

Without Nadal in the tournament, his chances definitely increase, but his odds are likely to be prohibitive, and a bet on Djokovic in Monte Carlo is not likely to represent much value.

Monte Carlo Masters Contenders

Stefanos Tsitsipas has won this competition in the last two years and has to be considered a major contender in Monte Carlo this season as well. His win-loss record on clay courts is significantly superior to his performance on other surfaces, yet potential Tsitsipas backers may be slightly concerned about his poor form in recent weeks. Since reaching the Australian Open final, the Greek star has suffered three early tournament exits, so bettors siding with him here will be hoping he can leave that form behind.

Since dropping out of the top ten in January, Daniil Medvedev has been a man on a mission, winning three tournaments, including at Miami and with his place in the top five resecured he could not be in better form. His record on clay, however, is relatively poor.

After reaching the final in Miami, Janik Sinner is likely to have his supporters, but a better option could be Casper Ruud. He hasn’t had the best of seasons so far, but he should be fresher than many of his peers, and although he is at the beginning of his career, his 77% win-loss ratio on the red clay at Roland Garros, where he reached the final last year, indicates that this surface may bring out the best in him.

Andrey Rublev has not won a Masters 1000 event, but he made a strong run to the final in Monte Carlo two years ago, and it could also pay to take a chance on Dane Holger Rune who has played some of his best tennis on this surface, and like Rublev, should be fresh going into this event.

Monte Carlo Masters Underdogs

Bettors looking for Monte Carlo underdogs at bigger odds should consider last season’s beaten finalist Alejandro Davidovitch Fokina. The rising Spanish star had his most memorable tournament here last season, beating Djokovich, Taylor Fritz and Grigor Dimitrov on his way to the final. His best performance in a Grand Slam event also came on the red clay, when he reached the last eight at the 2021 French Open and he showed some strong recent form when making the quarter-finals in Indian Wells.

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Noelle Matthews

Noelle Matthews is a tennis and soccer fan who has been working in the betting industry for over 15 years and has written for some of the big players in the sector, including Betfair, ESPN and Sporting Life. She has an in-depth knowledge of both tennis and soccer betting and you can trust her reviews to include the most precise, knowledgeable information available.