A good start to the week for my tennis selections at Monte Carlo as the first round match double of Vesely and Goffin won and both the outright selections Thiem and Raonic won their first round matches as well.
World number three Roger Federer, who has been missing from the ATP Tour since the Australian Open due to knee surgery, made a winning return yesterday seeing off Garcia-Lopez in impressive fashion 6-3 6-4 and will face 14th seed Bautista Agut for a place in the fourth round tomorrow. Second seed Andy Murray was again far from convincing during his 6-2 4-6 6-3 win against French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert and will need to improve considerably if he wants to reach the final this week.
It was a good day for the majority of the French contingent as ninth seed Gasquet, 13th seed Monfils, 16th seed Paire and Wild Card Lucas Pouille all made it through to the second round beating Muller, Almagro, Cervantes and Mahut respectively. While eighth seed Tsonga and 15th seed Simon are already through to the third round, as Tsonga had a first round bye before beating Carreno-Busta 7-6 7-6 yesterday, and Simon started his campaign on Sunday defeating Troicki and then Dimitrov yesterday, both in straight sets.
Other notable successes on Monday included 11th seed David Goffin’s straight sets win against Lopez, which included a second set bagel, Fernando Verdasco’s straight sets win against Marrakesh winner Frederico Delbonis, which included a first set bagel and Philip Kohlschreibers straight sets win against Marrakesh finalist Borna Coric. Also, teen sensation Alexander Zverev continued his impressive run of form dispatching fellow teenager and Wild Card Andrey Rublev 6-1 6-3.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and eight time Monte Carlo winner Rafael Nadal get their campaigns underway today against Vesely and Britain’s Aljaz Bedene respectively. Fourth seed and 2014 Monte Carlo winner Stan Wawrinka starts his campaign against Philip Kohlschreiber today, as does sixth seed and 2015 finalist Tomas Berdych against qualifier Damir Dzumhur. Our two outright tournament selections this week, tenth seed Milos Raonic and 12th seed Dominic Thiem, are both in action today against Cuevas and qualifier Daniel respectively and should progress to the third round if they can produce anywhere near their best form.
From a match betting perspective today two favourites Zverev and Raonic stand out as decent value and both can be backed in a double at 11/10.