Sunday's final at the Monte Carlo Masters promises to be a competitive clash between two next-gen players playing at a high level. Is it Tsitsipas or Rublev for Dan Weston - he returns to explain...
"Across the last year on clay, it’s Rublev who has marginally better data. The duo actually have similar service points won percentages, but the Russian has around a 3% edge on return which makes him a justified favourite for this encounter. "
Previous lean towards Rublev showing value today
Given that they were both strong favourites to win their semi-finals yesterday, it's not entirely a surprise to see Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev competing in today's Monte Carlo final. Both players recorded straight-set victories yesterday, with Tsitsipas easing past the surprise package of the tournament, Dan Evans - while Rublev defeated the Norwegian clay-courter, Casper Ruud.
In yesterday's preview, we discussed both the outright market before the semi-finals, and a slight lean towards Rublev if he was to reach the final against Tsitsipas.
The fact that Tsitsipas was the favourite in the outright market yesterday but is a 2.0621/20 underdog for the final might perplex some readers, but there's an important point to make - with Evans his opposition yesterday, the path to the final was easier for Tsitsipas than it was for Rublev, who had a very capable opponent in Ruud to get past to make the final.
Difficult to learn much from previous meetings
With that out of the way, we can move on to discussing today's clash in some detail, and the first general area I want to bring up is their head-to-head results so far. As with many of these head-to-head series, the results are largely irrelevant - they first met over four years ago when both ranked outside the top 150 at the Quimper Challenger. The only thing relatively similar between the events in Quimper and Monte Carlo is their geographical location, and we can ascertain nothing from this.
More recently, the duo have met on four occasions since the tour resumed last summer, with two wins apiece. Across these, Tsitsipas has marginally better data, but there's not a great deal in it. The matches have generally had a slight serve-orientated dynamic, but on slow clay in Monte Carlo there's no guarantee that this theme will continue.
Rublev with the edge on clay data
Across the last year on clay, it's Rublev who has marginally better data. The duo actually have similar service points won percentages, but the Russian has around a 3% edge on return which makes him a justified favourite for this encounter.
In addition, there might have been more disparity in their win-loss records had Tsitsipas not won three from three tiebreaks, and Rublev not won just two from six.
I actually make Rublev around the 1.608/13 mark for today's final, so the available 1.9210/11 on him via the Exchange looks some reasonable value. There hasn't been much value about in the last couple of days in Monte Carlo in my view, but this looks enough to make a conservative recommendation today.
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