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Medvedev vs Sousa ATP Monte Carlo Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Medvedev faces tricky start to Monte Carlo campaign

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 14 Apr 2019
  • Daniil Medvedev vs Joao Sousa is live from Monte Carlo on Monday, 15 April from 11:00am local time/ 10:00am BST
  • Medvedev and Sousa have split their two previous meetings
Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev faces a tricky start to his Monte Carlo campaign as he takes on Portugal's Joao Sousa in the first round on Monday.

Medvedev is only 1-2 in Monte Carlo, with his solitary victory at the event coming against Marton Fucsovics in 2018. He was beaten by Feliciano Lopez in his tournament debut in 2017, and lost to eventual finalist, Kei Nishikori in the second round last season. In fact, Medvedev has a generally poor record on clay; winning just one of his 10 matches on the surface since the start of 2017. The Russian is yet to win a match at Roland Garros, and has only ever won one clay-court match at Masters 1000 level.

Is this the season that he finds his feet on clay?

Following his fine 2018 campaign, during which he won titles in Sydney, Winston-Salem and Tokyo, and broke into the world's top-20, Medvedev made a rapid start to the 2019 season, opening with a runner-up finish in Brisbane, before making the fourth round of the Australian Open, where he took a set off Novak Djokovic in a losing course. 

The 22-year-old followed that up with a title run in Sofia, and a semi-final in Rotterdam, but he has dropped off somewhat in the last month and a half, going 3-3 between Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami. A fourth round loss to Roger Federer in Miami wasn't the worst thing in the world, but he would have been gutted with previous early losses against Ricardas Berankis in Dubai and Filip Krajinovic at Indian Wells.

Despite those results, Medvedev currently occupies a career-high ranking of 14th, and with virtually nothing to defend over the clay-court season, he's got a chance of making a real push for the top-ten in the coming weeks.

First, he's got to sort out his problems on the surface, and he will be tested by Sousa in his Monte Carlo opener on Monday. 

Sousa is looking to reach the second round in Monte Carlo in his fourth straight appearance- he missed the tournament last year, but made the second round in each of the three previous seasons.

Clay may be Sousa's preferred surface, but he has ironically found more joy on hard courts, on which he has won two of his three career titles, with the other being on clay. (He has actually made five finals each on clay and hard courts, but has a better conversion rate on the quicker surface). Also, he has reached at least the third round at three of the four majors- the only exception being the French Open.

Sousa's solitary clay-court title came in Estoril last season, when he defeated Frances Tiafoe in the final. He also made semi-finals in Marrakech and Chengdu, and reached the fourth round in Miami and the US Open, losing to Hyeon Chung and Novak Djokovic respectively. It was an OK season for Sousa, who jumped from 85th at the start of March to a year-end ranking of 44th, ending a season inside the top 50 for the third time in four years.

The 30-year-old, who possesses a career-high ranking of 28th, briefly broke into the top 40 after reaching the third round of the Australian Open in January, but he is now down at 43rd, heading into Monte Carlo. Sousa is only 7-7 for the year, with his best result being a couple of third-round runs in Melbourne and Miami. Outside those, he hasn't won consecutive matches, crashing at the first hurdles in Sao Paolo and Indian Wells, and going just one round better in Auckland, Buenos Aires and Rio. Hence, form has generally not been great this year.

Sousa and Medvedev have split their two previous matches, both in 2018, with Medvedev unsurprisingly blasting out the Portuguese 6-4 6-1 on the indoor hard courts of St. Petersburg in response to Sousa's earlier 7-6 7-5 victory in Estoril. 

That head-to-head, and Medvedev's extremely poor record on clay will encourage Sousa, as he bids for the upset on Monday. Besides, as mentioned earlier, Medvedev isn't playing quite as well as he was at the start of the season. Sousa's got a very good chance here.

Daniil Medvedev vs Joao Sousa is live from Monte Carlo on Monday, 15 April from 11:00am local time/ 10:00am BST

*Geo-restrictions apply. Streams available to customers with an active balance

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Medvedev vs Sousa ATP Monte Carlo Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Medvedev faces tricky start to Monte Carlo campaign

Daniil Medvedev opens his Monte Carlo campaign on Monday, when he takes on Portugal's Joao Sousa. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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