Saturday, April 20, 2013

MONTE CARLO 2013 Semis: Fognini-Djokovic, Nadal-Tsonga

Fabio Fognini is in his first ATP Masters semifinal of his career at the 2013 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters 1000 tournament. The handsome Italian is currently ranked #32 in the world, but the 25-year-old has beaten two of the world's Top 10 players in the world in consecutive matches: Richard Gasquet 7-6(0) 6-2 and Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-2. His opponent in the semifinal will be World #1 Novak Djokovic who has beaten him all four times they have played. Fognini is one of the highest ranked players on the tour who is yet to win a tour event (only Julien Benneteau and Jerzy Janowicz are higher ranked and still like ATP titles).

Rafael Nadal has won an astonishing 8 titles in Monte Carlo and most people expect him to win his 9th this year. Grigor Dimitrov (reportedly Maria Sharapova's boyfriend) had other ideas and  
showed why he is widely believed to be an important player in the (near) future by winning a set from the King of Clay in a 6-2 2-6 6-4 loss. Nadal will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who dismissed Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6 6-3 6-4. Murray's early round loss to Wawrinka means that his more well-known compatriot Roger Federer will regain the World #2 spot on Monday.

Tsonga and Nadal will face off on clay for only the 2nd time despite having faced each other ten times before, with the Spaniard leading 7-3. I believe Tsonga will be able to win a set, but it's very doubtful that he can win the match. Even though Djokovic is playing with an ankle that was recently badly twisted, he will still probably have no problem defeating Fognini again and setting up a reprise of last year's final.

MadProfessah's prediction: Nadal-Djokovic final.

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