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Lajovic vs Sonego ATP Monte Carlo Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Lajovic and Sonego meet in surprise Monte Carlo quarter final

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 18 Apr 2019
  • Dusan Lajovic vs Lorenzo Sonego is live from Monte Carlo on Friday, 19 April from 11:00am local time/ 10:00am BST
  • First meeting between Lajovic and Sonego
Dusan Lajovic

Dusan Lajovic and Lorenzo Sonego meet in a surprise Monte Carlo quarter final on Friday, with both men looking to advance to their maiden Masters 1000 semi-final. 

While qualifier, Sonego is contesting his maiden quarter final at this level, Lajovic is into a second Masters 1000 quarter final, having made the last eight in Madrid last season.

Both men have moved through the Monte Carlo draw without dropping a set, but something will have to give when they go head-to-head for the first time on Friday.

Lajovic, in particular, has sailed smoothly through a very challenging draw, as he is yet to lose more than four games in any of his six sets he has played. He has beaten Malek Jaziri (6-4 6-4), David Goffin (6-3 6-4), and most impressively, Roland Garros finalist, Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-3 in the third round.

The odds were heavily stacked against Lajovic in Thursday's meeting with Thiem, as he had lost all five previous meetings against the Austrian, all on clay, and taken just the one set in the process. Thiem has arguably been the second best player behind Rafael Nadal in clay in the last two years, and recently claimed his maiden Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells, but he had no answers for an inspired Lajovic on the day, as the Serbian pulled off a fine victory in what he described as the best match of his life.

“I'm very happy today. I didn't expect this, especially not in two sets against a player like Dominic," Lajovic said. "This was for sure my best match in my life, I think. I produced some great tennis from the beginning until the end of the match and I'm very happy to be in the quarter-finals in Monaco."

Lajovic was particularly effective on the return of serve, limiting Thiem to under 50% of points won on both his first and second serves. The 28-year-old converted half of the 10 break points he carved out, and saved seven of the nine he faced.

The world No. 48 is into his second quarter final of the season, and a first since the opening week of the campaign in Doha. Lajovic lost his way completely after that Doha run, suffering five consecutive opening round defeats, but he snapped that bad patch at Indian Wells, where he made the second round, and improved on that in Miami, where he beat Pablo Cuevas and Kei Nishikori before falling to Nick Kyrgios in the third round.

Lajovic has done even better in Monte Carlo, and he has got an excellent chance of making a Masters 1000 semi-final when faces qualifier Sonego on Friday.

Sonego will also see this match in exactly the same way- a massive opportunity to make a semi-final at this level. The Italian is contesting his second successive ATP World Tour quarter-final, as he also reached the last eight in Marrakech last week, beating Laslo Djere and Robin Haase before falling to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. 

Just like in Marrakech, Sonego has had to come through the qualifying draw in Monte Carlo, benefiting from a walkover against Marco Trungelliti in the final qualifying round, but he has made the most of that good fortune. The Italian opened his main draw account with a 7-6 6-4 victory over veteran compatriot, Andreas Seppi, before taking out last year's Paris Masters champion, Karen Khachanov with an identical scoreline in the second round. He continued his excellent run with a 6-2 7-5 victory over Great Britain's Cameron Norrie in the third round to move into his third tour-level quarter final.

Prior to his performances in Marrakech and Monte Carlo, world No. 96, Sonego had had a scratchy season on the tour, winning first round matches in Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo and Miami without going further in any of those meets. His only other tournament was in Rio, where he fell to Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the opening round.

He enjoyed better fortunes on the Challenger tour, reaching quarter finals in Playford and Phoenix.

Sonego has a career-high ranking of 86th, but he is projected to rise into the top-70 by virtue of this week's performances and he could surge into the top-50 if he gets the win on Friday.

The 23-year-old has been impressive, but Lajovic has been even better. To me, he is playing the better tennis at the moment, evident in the ease at which he has progressed, and the quality of opposition he has had to get through.

“I know that [from what] I've seen, it's very good and he's going to be a very good player. He's already a very good player," Lajovic said. "He's young, he's playing one of the best tournaments of his career so it's not going to be easy. I'll need to keep my focus, to go on the court and hopefully play like today."

If he does play like he did against Thiem, he will be too strong for Sonego on Friday.

Dusan Lajovic vs Lorenzo Sonego is live from Monte Carlo on Friday, 19 April from 11:00am local time/ 10:00am BST

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Lajovic vs Sonego ATP Monte Carlo Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Lajovic and Sonego meet in surprise Monte Carlo quarter final

Dusan Lajovic and Lorenzo Sonego meet for the first time on Friday as they battle for a spot in the Monte Carlo semis. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online

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