33-year-old Frenchman Gael Monfils will take on 31-year-old Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the quarter-final of the Zhuhai Open on Friday, September 27. The match is yet to be scheduled. You can find Gael Monfils v Albert Ramos-Vinolas live streaming, head to head, preview & predictions here.
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Gael Monfils v Albert Ramos-Vinolas Head to Head
The pair have met five times on the tour with Monfils coming out on top on four occasions twice this year at the US Open & Indian Wells where he also won in their clash back in 2016. His other victory was back in 2011 at the Hamburg Open with Ramos-Vinolas only getting better of Monfils once earlier this year in Rome.
Gael Monfils Looking to Break into Top 10 Once Again
At the age of 21, Gael Monfils had a French Open semi-final & a masters 1000 final appearance under his belt, and he was in the world’s top 10 rankings. A combination of one of the most lethal & quick serves on the tour, strong & athletic body and powerful forehand meant he was looked like the next big thing in the Men’s tennis at such a young age.
It wouldn’t have surprised many if someone predicted that this young Swiss-born, French boy would go on to win 500 career matches on tour.
Almost a decade later, Monfils indeed is closing on that 500 victories mark in his career, but his journey hasn’t been the one many thought it would be. Wrist, ankle & Achilles injuries have hampered his progress time & again, and his constant fight with his fitness has meant that he has never been able to fulfill his full potential on tour. He has given the highest walkovers to opponents due to injuries suffered for any player who has played more than 300 matches this decade.
But despite the unfortunate injury record, Monfils’s ranking has never dropped out of the top 50 in the last five years, and in 2019 he has a title at Rotterdam as well as semi-final appearances at Dubai, Sofia & Montreal. Just last month he made to the last eight at the US Open before bowing out to Matteo Berrettini.
Currently ranked number 12 in the world, the Frenchman got a bye in the first round here and won in straight sets against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie.
Clay Court Specialist Ramos-Vinolas on a Rare Hard Court Run
The last time Albert Ramos-Vilonas had a win-loss ratio of over 1.5 in a calendar year it was 2014 when he was plying his trade mostly in the challenger circuit. This year his record on tour is 47-29. He had an impressive 2017 where he reached world number 17 and his maiden Masters 1000 final at Monte Carlo where he had beater then world number 1 Andy Murray of Britain.
But since then injuries and inconsistent form meant that his ranking dropped and he was outside the top 100 just three months ago. But his season has turned on its head spectacularly since then, an impressive 23-8 record in the last three months where he won in Gstaad and reached the finals at Kitzbühel. He also made to the semi-finals of four other events and is now back in the top 50 in rankings.
His game is ideally suited for Clay Court with a strong baseline game and forehand with heavy topspin. His last victory on hard courts before this tournament was back in March, and since then he has only chosen to play in two hard court events, one of which was the US Open. He went out from both the events in the first round.
Monfils v Ramos-Vinolas Predictions & Tips
Both the players have gone into this tournament on the back of a decent run, Monfils had a solid US hardcourt swing ending with an impressive run at the Flushing Medows whereas the Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas had good runs at Genoa & Szczecin albeit at Challenger level and on clay.
On fast hard courts of Zhuhai, the conditions are likely to favor Monfils, and despite Ramos-Vinolas having a good season so far, I would tip Monfils to go through to the semi-finals.
Tip: Monfils to win in straight sets: 10/11 (888Sport)