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Monte Carlo Masters 2021: Aslan Karatsev vs Lorenzo Musetti preview, head-to-head & prediction

Aslan Karatsev
Aslan Karatsev
ANALYST
Modified 11 Apr 2021
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Match details

Fixture: Aslan Karatsev vs Lorenzo Musetti

Tournament: Rolex Monte Carlo Masters 2021

Round: First round (Round of 64)

Venue: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Category: Masters 1000

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: €2,082,960

Match timing: 11 am local time, 2.30 pm IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel

Aslan Karatsev vs Lorenzo Musetti preview

Aslan Karatsev will cross swords with teenage phenom Lorenzo Musetti in the first round of the 2021 Rolex Monte Carlo Masters.

Despite their huge difference in age, both Karatsev and Musetti have only recently broken out on tour. Needless to say, neither of them has much experience in the Masters category of events.

The 19-year-old Musetti has taken part in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event twice - Rome 2020 and Miami 2021. The 27-year-old Karatsev, meanwhile, made his Masters 1000 debut at the recent Miami Open; Monte Carlo will be the Russian's first ever claycourt Masters.

Another similarity between Musetti and Karatsev is that neither of them has played too many claycourt matches on the ATP tour. Musetti has played 14 matches on the surface (10 main draw and 4 qualifying), while Karatsev has played just 10 - all of which have been in qualifying. In other words, Karatsev will be making his ATP main draw debut on clay in the first round here against Musetti.

But Karatsev is no pushover on the dirt; he has, in fact, been pretty dominant on clay in the Challenger circuit. In 2020, the Russian won 16 of the 17 matches that he played on the surface.

Karatsev and Musetti are two of the hottest players on tour currently. The Russian made the Australian Open semifinals before lifting his maiden ATP title at the Dubai Open. And Musetti made the last four at Acapulco, beating several higher-ranked players along the way - including Grigor Dimitrov, Frances Tiafoe and Diego Schwartzman.

More recently, the Italian made his way to the Sardegna Open quarterfinals, where he fell to Laslo Djere.

Aslan Karatsev vs Lorenzo Musetti head-to-head

Aslan Karatsev and Lorenzo Musetti have never faced each other on tour before, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

Aslan Karatsev vs Lorenzo Musetti prediction

Lorenzo Musetti
Lorenzo Musetti

This promises to be a cracker of a contest between two players who are known for their spectacular shot-making. While Lorenzo Musetti's shots - particularly his backhand - have a lot of flair, Karatsev's shots are known for their accuracy.

That said, it is Karatsev who is the more powerful player of the two. The Russian is also more consistent with his serve, and has the ability to find the lines regularly.

If Karatsev is able to produce good numbers on his serve, he would be able to dictate a majority of the rallies with his forehand. But given the slowness of Monte Carlo's claycourts, Musetti will back himself to do well on the return.

The teenager is likely to start better given that he is more acclimatized to the surface. But once Karatsev finds his footing, things might get really tough for Musetti.

Prediction: Aslan Karatsev to win in three sets.

Published 11 Apr 2021
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