British players Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie have been placed in the same quarter of the 2019 Monte-Carlo Masters draw, but could face a tough time advancing to the later stages of the competition.
Edmund will take on Dusan Lajovic in his first round encounter at the Monte-Carlo Masters and while he should not have a lot of difficulties on account of having beaten the Serb on three previous occasions, clay could pose a different challenge for the Brit number one.
He had recently featured at the Marrakech Open where he won his opener before going down to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round and over the last two seasons has a 20-12 win-loss record on dirt.
If Edmund wins his first round match against Lajovic, he could take on the 16th seeded David Goffin. Goffin will face a yet-to-be-revealed qualifier in his opener. These two players have faced off twice before this and the head to head is tied at one match apiece with Edmund holding a slight advantage, having beaten Goffin on clay before this.
Edmund’s win against Goffin had come at the Madrid Masters last season.
His first major test might come in the round three when Edmund takes on Dominic Thiem, the third seed. Thiem’s coming off a title win at the Indian Wells Masters but more vitally, has a strong game on clay. Well, it’s strong enough to have beaten Rafael Nadal thrice on his favourite surface.
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The other Brit in the main draw, Norrie takes on Adrian Mannarino in his opener, in what will be their second meeting. Interestingly, there’s not much to choose between the two players in terms of their rankings either, with Norrie ranked 55th and Mannarino at 57th.
If Norrie can make it past his French opponent, he could face the 12th seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia. The two have never met before this, but the 17th ranked Georgian hasn’t had a great start to the season with wins in just nine of the 16 matches.
Basilashvili is coming off a fourth round appearance at the Miami Masters, having earlier made it to the third round at Australian Open and quarter-final in Dubai. On the other hand, Norrie’s record this year has been worse – with 11 wins and 10 losses including a 2-4 record on clay.
Norrie’s potential third round opponent will be the eighth seeded Karen Khachanov.
No other Brit player has made it to the qualifiers.