Day 1 Preview: Dimitrov Headlines Action
Former semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov will kick off his Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters campaign Sunday when he faces 15th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili on Court Rainier III on day one of the third ATP Masters 1000 event of the season.
Dimitrov has a strong record on the clay in Monaco, having reached the last four in 2018 and advanced to the quarter-finals in 2013 and 2015.
The Bulgarian, who is making his ninth appearance in Monte-Carlo, has earned wins against 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka, former World No. 7 Fernando Verdasco and World No. 6 Matteo Berrettini at the tournament over the years and arrives this week in confident mood , after advancing to the quarter-finals in Indian Wells last month.
Dimitrov leads Basilashvili 1-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, but that meeting came back in 2017 on hard in Sofia. Georgian Basilashvili has never been beyond the first round in three previous appearances in Monte-Carlo.
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Dusan Lajovic will take on Filip Krajinovic in an all-Serbian battle, with the latter leading their ATP Head2Head series 2-1. Krajinovic, who advanced to the third round in Monaco in 2021, downed Lajovic in three sets in the first round in Indian Wells in March.
Lajovic will provide stiff competition in Monte-Carlo, though, having soared to his only Masters 1000 final at the tournament in 2019. The World No. 48 upset seeds Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev before falling to Italian Fabio Fognini in the championship match.
Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and American Marcos Giron will kick off the main-draw action on Court Rainier III in what will be the first ATP Head2Head meeting between the pair.
Davidovich Fokina defeated Alex de Minaur, Berrettini and Lucas Pouille en route to the quarter-finals last season and will be aiming to snap a three-match losing streak against Giron. Meanwhile, the American is making his Monte Carlo debut.
Hungarian Marton Fucsovics and South African Lloyd Harris will round off the main-draw singles action when they compete on Court des Princes. The pair are tied at 2-2 in their ATP Head2Head series, with Fucsovics winning their most recent meeting in Doha in February. The World No. 57 will be competing for the fourth time on the clay in Monte-Carlo, while Harris is making his debut.
#NextGenATP Czech Jiri Lehecka will be aiming to reach the main draw at a Masters 1000 event for the first time when he takes on Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi in the final qualifying round, while singles stars Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner will begin their doubles campaign against Marcelo Melo and Alexander Zverev.