TennisSection previews the 2021 Monte-Carlo Masters as Rafael Nadal (3) meets Grigor Dimitrov (14) in the Third Round on Thursday, April 15th 2021.
Will Grigor Dimitrov be able to get an extremely rare victory over Rafael Nadal under his belt as he looks to make his way to the Quarter-finals of the 2021 Monte-Carlo Masters? Will Rafael Nadal continue to cruise and show us that these are his courts and he is definitely the favourite for the title here in Monaco? Both players have played well here this week, but only one will make their way through to the Quarter-finals. Who will it be?
Grigor Dimitrov put on a strong performance in the Second Round, beating the very experienced Jeremy Chardy in straight sets 7-6(3)/6-4. Grigor Dimitrov loves playing in these clay court conditions, and he trains on these courts throughout the off-season as he lives right here in Monte-Carlo. Dimitrov has shown something this week which we have not seen in a while, composure and consistently. This is very important for Dimitrov as he is very much up and down in form every tournament, but if he is able to find a rhythm throughout extended periods of time, his career will improve drastically. Grigor Dimitrov has played extremely well here in Monte-Carlo, but he will be asking why he had to be put in the side of the draw as he now meets Rafael Nadal who is just another beast on clay.
Rafael Nadal was absolutely incredible in his first match here in the Second Round, beating Federico Delbonis in straight sets 6-1/6-2. Rafael Nadal has not played on clay since he won the French Open last year and he has not played tennis on the ATP Tour since the middle of February this year. However, he came out ready to play at his best and he seems to be in great form as he looks to win the 2021 Monte-Carlo Masters. Rafael Nadal is just something else on clay as he has the best footwork in the ATP Tour, and he is able to use the surface and the bounce of the ball to his advantage when hitting with extreme spin. Nadal will be very happy with his first win on clay this year, but he will also know he has to back this up against a very tough opponent in Grigor Dimitrov.
Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov have met 14 times before, with Rafael Nadal leading the head to head 13-1. This is not even a rivalry, unfortunately for Dimitrov, as Nadal has just destroyed him in every way, shape, or form. The last time they met was in the Semi-finals of the 2020 Acapulco Open where Nadal won 6-3/6-2. However, the time before that, was right here in the Third Round of the 2019 Monte-Carlo Masters where Nadal won in straight sets 6-4/6-1. Dimitrov has only won once against Rafa and this was on a hard-court, and I just do not see him getting anything out of the King of Clay in one of his favourite tournaments. I see this match being over very quickly, with Nadal winning in straight sets.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Two Sets.