ATP Masters 1000Monte-Carlo MastersRoger Federer

Monte Carlo Draw 2016: Federer’s Comeback Tournament

Hey all, the Monte Carlo draw has just been announced and it will be Federer's first tournament back since the Australia Open having undergone knee surgery in February. After he attempted to make his return at the Miami Open 2 weeks ago, but couldn't participate due to a stomach virus, it now means he's back to his planned schedule of returning at the Country Club and he's been practising on Court Centrale for the last several days. As for the draw you can see the projected opponents below:

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • 1st Round: Bye
  • 2nd Round: Tomasz Bellucci / Guillermo Garcia Lopez
  • 3rd Round: Roberto Bautista Agut
  • Quarter Final: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
  • Semi Final: Novak Djokovic
  • Final: Andy Murray

Full .PDF printable draw.

Thoughts on the Draw

Federer Monte Carlo 2016 Practice

First up will either be the good but erratic Bellucci or the solid clay courter Garcia Lopez. On his day Bellucci is a threat to anyone on this surface but he hasn't played since the 2nd Round of Miami where he retired from exhaustion against Kukushkin, later saying he lost 5 or 6 kg of weight in the match and could not continue.

Garcia Lopez is also a solid dirt baller and he has 2 clay court matches under his belt already this season beating Almagro then losing to Vesely in the Marrakech quarter finals yesterday. Neither of those guys are an easy proposition for a comeback match on Fed's least favourite surface and least favourite tournament (in terms of results). I'd still pick Fed to come through but they could be 3 setters.

Round 3 looks like the Royal Bank of Agut would be the opponent and he's had a pretty decent year quietly accumulating wins to reside comfortably in the Top 20. Roger has schooled him in past meetings however so whilst he's a real road runner type player Fed has always been able to manoeuvre him around the court at will. Perhaps not as easy to execute when you haven't played for 3 months but it could be a good match to find some rhythm so I hope it happens.

In the Quarter Finals and either Tsonga or Gasquet are potential opponents. Tsonga has the slightly easier draw thanks to a 1st Round Bye but should both Frenchmen meet in the 3rd Round it's anyone's guess. I'd probably pick Gasquet at a push to come through it. His record against Federer is poor but he does have that 2005 win in Monte Carlo against him on his CV so you can't rule him out completely. I think Fed likes the match up though which he wins in most areas. Should he meet Tsonga then it's always a trickier match but I'd pick Fed to overcome either player but see them both being 3 setters.

Semi's would then be Djokovic, who Fed has a 3-0 record against in Mickey Carlo πŸ˜† and the final seeded to be against Murray who has not had a good US hard court swing.

Just like Miami it's pretty difficult to have any real expectations from Fed as he's been out of action for almost 12 weeks. Sure he will have practised an awful lot but matches are a different ball game. At least with clay it's the surface least likely to bring big upsets so hopefully he can have a decent week playing 2 or more matches.

What do you guys think of the draw? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Looks like a good draw to get back in his form. Looking forward to Nadal – Thiem too, by the way.

  2. Wow, am I second without even trying? I like this draw way better than the one for Miami. But I take nothing for granted. Slow and steady wins the race. The more cogent question is: What is Djoko’s draw? Is Stan there??? I cannot believe Murray never gets D in the semis. Whatever. I cannot wait to see Fed again! Anyone know the schedule? Will go to MC website now and investigate. xox everyone!

      1. Yep, Andy keeps desperately trying to hand the No. 2 spot back to Roger, but Roger’s having none of it πŸ™‚

    1. Emily, Murray is still ranked No2 so obviously he is automatically on the other side of the draw. Nadal OTOH has drawn (potentially) Thiem in the 3rd, Wawrinka QF, and Murray in the SF. Djokovic could face Monfils in 3rd, Goffin or Ferrer in QF; Murray has the big servers – poss. Karlovic, then either Berdy or Raonic in QF, and Nadal/Wawrinka/Thiem in SF. Once again, Djoko seems to have the easier draw through to the SFs. Way he’s playing I guess they all seem easy for him. Shame he couldn’t have drawn Thiem in 3rd though as he would have given him a run for his money for sure.

      Feds draw isn’t too bad so I hope he’s able to get a few matches under his belt. Allez πŸ™‚

      1. Even Roger thinks Murray being ranked #2 is rubbish, because at the Player’s Party the players sign their name next to their ranking. Roger signed his name next to Murray’s ranking so Murray had no choice but to sign next to Roger’s ranking. LOL! You know Roger knows that he’s ranked #3.

      2. Yes, it’s true. Go look at the picture with Andy signing and smiling at the camera. Roger did it to ruffle some feathers. But check this out. The only feathers that are ruffled are Djokobitch fans. Why Djoke fans so upset about Roger signing his name at #2 when he’s comfortable ranked #1? Trust me it is Djoke fans who noticed it and posting it on every tennis forum. Djoke fans see Roger as threat by simply just being on tour.

      3. “Roger did it to ruffle some feathers.” how do you know that?

        Looks like he just signed next to his picture really with no real thought to who else had to sign above or below πŸ˜†

      4. Wrong. If you look at the picture, you can clearly see where the players are suppose to sign. I bet no one else made the same “mistake”. Come on, I think it’s funny. I think some feathers need to ruffled at this point. Don’t you? Roger is a nice guy, but sometimes messages have to be sent. That includes with the racket. Go Fed!

      5. I think it’s funny as well. But I think you’re trying to find reasons for it happening to suit what you’d personally prefer. It could have been intentional, it could have been a mistake or like I said he signed next to his picture. Or maybe he genuinely thought he was back at #2.

        Or maybe he pre planned it with Murray as he knew it would cause an entire shit storm on social media. (that’s the one I’d like to be the case)

        As for ruffling a few feathers, that can be done on court. Considering Fed’s last match was basically a plexicushion schooling at the hands of the World Number 1 and he hasn’t played a match in 73 days I don’t think resorting to sending messages on a cardboard ranking chart to his rivals is a smart move do you? πŸ˜†

      6. Why not? Oh yeah, “I am a washed old man with a bad knee” that’s an even better message to the field. Yeah, you’re right it was just a joke by him and Murray. Those two devils.

      7. People whose only agenda in life is to establish Fed as the most arrogant person on earth are feasting right now. Smart move by Fed to feed them with these kind of things, keeps him in discussion even when he isn’t playing. ;D

      8. Oh so much about a feather. I think it might be unintentional, but when first done, why not have some fun out of it – πŸ™‚

      9. True, what ever the case things seems okay between Andy and Roger(atleast in twitter) , Novak’s fans seems most haunted by it.. Imagine if he could have signed on first place.. Fun if you want to waste lots of time online… ?

      10. “Oh so much about a feather.”

        What a lovely phrase. Where does it come from, muser?

  3. Looks like very decent draw for any other tourney… As you said with comeback its bit of toss….Agree if he makes QF/SF then that would be great result, hopefully he does that…

  4. As always, I want Fed to win all the tournaments he plays, But that’s not happening recently, so I got to lower my expectations. I think he can reach QFs. If it is Gasquet, i like his chances. But Tsonga is always trickier in this surface, like u said. Hope he gets to play many matches in MC… Maybe he reaches the final and beats Nadal. Hope he surprises me πŸ™‚

    1. It’s never happened in Monte Carlo either πŸ˜€ should have won it in 2014 though tbh.

      I doubt Nadal makes the final but you never know, used to be his strong hold this place.

  5. I truly wish the clay was blue or change the colour of the ball for clay. Loved that one year in Madrid. So much harder to follow the ball than on a hard court or grass. Probably the biggest reason clay isn’t my favourite surface. End of rant.

    The draw looks decent. Wouldn’t that be insane if Roger won the thing this year! Hoping for the semis.

    Wanda…you going? Doesn’t look like there are many tickets left.

    1. Slow response, sorry Sue.

      I’m in the middle of moving/renovation and entertaining in-laws…crazy week ahead. But I’m going! Managed to grab tickets on Wednesday as Fed traditionally plays his first match. If he starts on Tuesday, meaning no match for him on Wednesday, then I will kill myself.

      1. That’s great Wanda. Fingers crossed it will be Wednesday. Have a wonderful time. At the very worst you could watch him practising?

      2. The peRFect Tennis weather widget says 6 degrees Wednesday so take a jacket. Although I don’t think it is the most accurate.

      3. I’d join you in a heartbeat if I could afford it Wanda. The weather in my neck of the woods is SHIT. Really cold, stormy and wet. πŸ™ Federer + sunshine…lovely. πŸ™‚

  6. Semis is the max I’m expecting, but of course it would be great to see Fed pick up his first crown in Monte Carlo.

    1. I know right? First surgery. First comeback after the aforementioned surgery. First clay Masters 1000 in a gazillion years. First Mickey Carlo title ever. That would be quite the week. :p

  7. Under the circumstances, he could probably have done with not having a bye in the first round here, but that’s what you get for being too good πŸ™‚ No idea what he’s going to do here, I just hope it’ll ultimately be beneficial for him. What did he do, get knocked out in his first match last year?

    1. I would agree that Djoker’s draw isn’t that straightforward. I’m looking forward to interesting clashes with Monfils and Zverev (if they get that far of course). You never know what Monfils will come up with. He may never have defeated Djokovic, but maybe this is his week. As for Zverev, I don’t really have faith in him yet, but it would just be so great to finally see a REAL breaktrough from someone. What about a Zverev-Thiem final?

  8. Decent draw for a comeback tournament. I hope Jon gets to write at least 4-5 posts for this tournament. πŸ™‚

      1. I hope you mean one more post other than this one. πŸ˜€ Otherwise(god forbid) it would mean MC facing the same fate as Miami

  9. Yep, hoping for at least 2 good wins…. And if that happens then who knows! I will be there Tues/Wed/Thurs so will try to give you some live feedback… As Jonathan said match play very different to practise… And he will no doubt be tired if he has a tough opener…. Allez! Nothing to lose, all to gain! Praying someone finally takes out Novak….

      1. Haha! That said I am being treated so really special! Not been before, very excited! Am there Tues/Wed/Thurs… Hoping to see a couple of Fed wins please… Will get the husband to take some photos… Only reason he is allowed to come along! ?

  10. Tennis Mobile challenge is getting quite boring and difficult. It’s just not possible for me to pick Roger to lose to anyone and The Djoker to win it all, the latter we know will happen 99.9%. If Fed has to lose I hope he loses before the semis as I can’t bear yet another defeat to ND which will let ND’s fans to walk over Toger all over yet again on all sorts of forums and social media.

    1. Just come on this site April and ignore all the others. As I said in a previous post, this is ND’s time. He’s got lucky that the top 100 are basically filled with old men, no under 25s in top 10, only 2 in top 20. Just to underline that fact, Ferrer/Gasquet are actually ranked a couple of spots higher than they were A DECADE AGO. A lost generation indeed. He’s also got lucky that Rafa has slumped so badly. How many clay masters might Roger have had were it not for the indisputable King of Clay.

    2. I have Fed losing early in my picks πŸ˜‰

      Twitter and most social media just attracts the mob mentality type who get more joy out of someone losing than the player they are supposedly a fan of actually winnings so best avoided.

      All I ever see is Djoker fans moaning about Federer when their guy is on one of the best runs of all time. If Djokovic is the same around the house then I feel sorry for Jelena πŸ™‚

      But at the same time, Fed fans can be just as bad. If Fed beat Djoker at an event then they’d be all over Djoker fans. They both stoop to similar levels

  11. Excited on Roger’s return, cant wait. Zero expectations here, the longer he stays on court – I am already a happy person πŸ™‚

  12. Ecstatic is under-described. I don’t care who Fed plays against, what he wears and how his form is. So long as he hit the ball in a match, preferably on Wednesday, please and thanks. No more waiting game, it’s been too long! Is this the longest period Fed’s out of action? I was worried if Jonathan would lose the blogging job πŸ˜†

    “I don’t care who…”, it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate your post, Jonathan. Many thanks for keeping us well-informed. Keep going!

  13. Last night I had a dream that Fed was somking it at his return and Djoko was down 6-7, 4-6 to someone…then i woke up…

    1. Ah well – dreams COME true – sometimes!
      I scent happiness all over that business seems on. For real this time! And – like Roger says: “Expectations are low, which is nice for a change.”
      And we never know, what this laid back attitude might accomplish…Exciting whatever πŸ˜‰

  14. Fed on Tuesday? Who said that? April fool? I only find the schedule for Monday… πŸ™

    That’s it guys. Bye.

    1. I heard it early yesterday too and now it’s confirmed.

      Had a feeling when I saw Monday’s matches – Nadal, Djokovic, Stan or Berdych’s opponents were not playing so left a big gap on Tuesday to fill.

    2. So sorry Wanda, what a blow. πŸ™ He does so often start on the Wednesday, so it was a good day to go for, but I it’s always a bit of a lottery trying to guess the right day. I do hope you get to see him during a practice session, or maybe just strolling around and you get a picture of him then.

  15. Congrats on acquiring a sponsor Johnathan. I remember the early days when there were less than a 1000 followers and now lo behold there are more than 100k. This blog is going places. ?

    1. Thanks. Although who is my sponsor? If you mean those ads in the sidebar that’s just an Adsense slot that I titled sponsor, somewhat misleading πŸ˜‰ I earn pence if someone clicks it.

      Not talking about your comment in particular but from feedback I had via email and on Facebook / Reddit some people think this blog is a real money maker, it’s not.

      I haven’t bothered to look into tbh but I’m not even sure it breaks even on hosting costs, live chat, SSL certificate and other odd bits of expense.

      So I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone thinking they can earn cash from it, it’s a labour of love. I could up the earnings but would need to scale it up massively in terms of published content – multiple articles per day. If you could get 500k uniques per month then you might be able to get into the 4 figure per month earning mark and then it might open a few more doors – tournament credentials, tenancy placements from advertisers etc. but I’m not a huge fan of the pageview biz model.

  16. The official tv broadcaster of monte carlo is Sony television buy these idiots as per the schedule won’t show monte carlo instead ,I see repeat matches of ipl being telecasted, someone from India or indian subcontinent ,please tell me if there is any channel which is going to show monte carlo masters ?

    1. And what tha phuk was that sloppy service game at 5-2? A joke to entertain? A means to make the match tickets more efficient as measured in euros/minute?

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