Monte Carlo Masters 2021: Novak Djokovic vs Jannik Sinner Preview, Head-to-Head and Prediction

Published 04/13/2021, 9:59 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


The Monte Carlo Masters 2021 is the first flagship event of the clay-court season. And in its infancy, it is showing prospects of some great fireworks. World No.1 Novak Djokovic has been treated with a tough draw and the first hurdle in his path in the second round is Italian prodigy, Jannik Sinner.

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Young gun in Jannik Sinner to take on World No.1 Novak Djokovic

Jannik Sinner has had a steady rise since his emergence in 2020. Since making his breakthrough in French Open 2020, Sinner has gone on to win two titles and reach the finals of Miami Open 2021. He is still a teenager but is on the fringes of the top 20 already.

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Jannik Sinner of Italy celebrates after match point. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In 2021, Sinner started the season with a title in Melbourne. Although his Australian Open didn’t go as planned, he capped off the first quarter of the season with the Miami Open final where he lost to Hubert Hurkacz.

Moving to the clay courts, Sinner is a better clay-court player and with his aggressive baseline style, he is already a huge threat on the dirt.

Djokovic has had a routine high performance start to a season. He yet again added an Australian Open title to his kitty, despite having to deal with an injury. During the tournament, Djokovic had suffered a small abdominal tear. After the tournament, it was revealed that winning the title in Melbourne had aggravated his abdominal injury.

Thus, at Monte Carlo 2021, Djokovic will be making his first appearance since winning Aussie Open. He is the World No.1 and despite his injury troubles in recent years he hasn’t had problems restarting again.

Head-to-head

Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner will be starting off their rivalry in Monte Carlo Masters 2021. They are yet to play against each other.

A mouth-watering clash in the making?

Sinner and Djokovic are aggressive baseliners. Thus their game style certainly suits the clay court. Sinner has killer groundstrokes and his fiery forehands and backhands trouble his opponents.

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Clay courts are all about rallies and Djokovic thrives in longer rallies. With his defense, he could force Sinner to make mistakes. In the Miami Open final, Hurkacz was defending Sinner’s long strokes, which was forcing Sinner to hit hard, and in the process, the Italian made mistakes.

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Sinner still has to learn to construct rallies, as he tends to get a little over-eager and ends the points on a wrong note. Djokovic could well again use that with his stellar defending. But if Sinner plays smart, he could trouble Djokovic at the net. But since Djokovic has experience and pedigree, he will probably just edge Sinner out.

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Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in three sets.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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