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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday April 14, 2022

The quarterfinals are set at the first clay-court Masters 1000 of 2022. Let’s have a look at the matchups.

Tennis Express

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina v [10] Taylor Fritz

The man who knocked out Novak Djokovic at the first hurdle in Monte-Carlo is still making waves in the draw. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina continued his winning ways on Thursday, dashing past wild card David Goffin 6-4, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals at Monte-Carlo for the second straight year.

The Spaniard is just 7-9 on the season, but he’s on a big high after his win over Djokovic.

Same can be said about American Taylor Fritz, who worked his way past Sebastian Korda on Thursday, 7-6(4), 7-5, to become the first American to reach the last eight at Monte-Carlo since 2008. Fritz, the 2022 Indian Wells champion, has had a banner year, and by defeating Korda he tied Rafael Nadal at the top of the ATP’s win leaderboard for 2022. He improved to 20-6 on the season and will bid for his first Masters 1000 semifinal on clay (Fritz is 24-22 lifetime on clay with four semifinals to his name).

Grigor Dimitrov v [11] Hubert Hurkacz

Grigor Dimitrov lives in Monte-Carlo and clearly enjoys playing in the Principality. The Bulgarian swept past fourth-seeded Casper Ruud on Thursday (his 16th career Top-5 win) to reach the quarterfinals at Monte-Carlo for the fourth time. Dimitrov may be unseeded but he believes that anything can happen in the current ATP, where the Big 3’s presence isn’t felt like it used to be.

"Players who have not been there, they start believing,” he said in an interview with Tennis Channel. “It builds up the confidence without having the guys around. But for me with or without honestly it doesn't make any difference because everyone's gonna fight. You still gotta put one extra ball than the opponent. For me I'm gonna focus on my side of the net, see what I can do and go after it."

Hubert Hurkacz is into his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal on clay after getting past former finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 7-6(2), 6-2. The top-ranked Polish man in ATP history improved to 17-6 on the season and will bid for his third semifinal of 2022 against Dimitrov. He’ll be looking for revenge against the Bulgarian, who took the pair’s only previous meeting in a third-set breaker in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells last year.

[3] Stefanos Tsitsipas v Diego Schwartzman [12]

Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas has looked the part this week in Monte-Carlo. He has yet to drop his set in stretching his Monte-Carlo winning streak to seven (including 13 consecutive sets won), and he continues to impress on clay, perhaps more than any other surface.

Tsitsipas improved to 62-21 lifetime on clay this week with his round of 16 victory over Laslo Djere – his .747 winning percentage on the surface is significantly higher than his hard court win percentage (.652) and it bodes well for his chances against Diego Schwartzman on Friday, and on the Road to Roland-Garros.

But the Argentinian, who defeated Lorenzo Musetti, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, on Thursday will present a difficult challenge. Schwartzman owns a 2-1 lifetime edge over Tsitsipas, but the Greek took their only meeting on clay at Barcelona in 2018.

[9] Jannik Sinner v [2] Alexander Zverev

Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev will meet for the fourth time, with Zverev holding the 2-1 edge but Sinner taking the pair’s only meeting on clay, in 2020.

Zverev, who defeated Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 7-5, is only missing one Masters 1000 clay title from his resume. But he’ll have his hands full with Sinner. The Italian improved to 19-3 on the season with a three-set win over No.5-seeded Andrey Rublev, battling through foot blisters to notch an energizing win. He’s enjoying tremendous support from Italian fans in Monte-Carlo, and is through to his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal on clay.


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