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Monte Carlo Day One Tips: Murray and De Minaur face in intriguing clash

Former British number one Andy Murray
Murray can offer us value in Monte Carlo

Tennis action this week on the ATP Tour focuses on the Monte Carlo Masters. Returning to look at Monday's schedule is Dan Weston...

  • Plenty of unseeded big names on the Monday schedule

  • Thiem faces Gasquet in former top 10 battle

  • Murray providing British interest


Thiem still with much to prove

There are 13 opening round matches on Monday in Monte Carlo as the tournament gets underway to the full extent after several matches yesterday.

Despite the seeds getting opening round byes and not participating until round two, likely on Wednesday, there's still plenty of interest ahead today with the likes of Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem, Roberto Bautista-Agut, and Stan Wawrinka all in action today.

Even despite their longer-term big name, Wawrinka and Thiem face tough tasks to get to round two.

Thiem is favourite in his match, but not strong, at 1.664/6 versus Richard Gasquet.

There's still not an abundance of evidence that Thiem is an above-average player at this level these days, and he could be tested by the inconsistent veteran, Gasquet.

De Minaur unlikely to enjoy conditions

Certainly sharing that veteran status is Andy Murray, who faces an intriguing clash against Alex De Minaur.

Murray is the 2.6213/8 underdog to make round two, which could well look to be a generous line if he's in decent physical shape for this.

De Minaur is something of a faster conditions specialist, which he's very unlikely to have here, and lost both his last two matches against non top 50 opposition on slow hard courts.

On a day where pre-match value looks thin on the ground, Murray could be the best spot.

andy murray feeling heat 1280x720.jpg

Fellow Brit Cameron Norrie is also in action, with the 11th seed facing a tough test ahead against the Argentine, Francisco Cerundolo.

There should be little doubt that Cerundolo is likely to thrive more in these conditions, which should be something of a leveller between the duo.

However, Norrie's record on the surface is still strong (around 105% combined service/return points won percentage in the last 12 months) making him a deserved favourite here.

Cerundolo is likely going to have to serve very well to have a decent chance.

Goffin's fitness a doubt ahead of Schwartzman clash

Finally, one match where serving well looks less likely is Diego Schwartzman versus David Goffin.

The Argentine, Schwartzman, is the 1.684/6 favourite to get the win here and overturn a tough run of form which has seen him go 3-10 so far this season.

Goffin is no longer the player of old either though, and is making his return to tour following several months injury following a knee problem picked up in Marseille.

If Goffin is fit, he should have a decent underdog chance here at 2.427/5, and to exploit the Schwartzman serve which looks deteriorating further - he's held just 65% on clay in the last 12 months.

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