Australian Open Men's Quarter-Final Tips: Monfils can continue excellent start to 2022

The Australian Open moves into the quarter-final stage on Tuesday, with the first two clashes coming from the top half of the draw. Dan Weston returns to preview the day ahead...

Medvedev looking to be en route to victory

At the time of writing, the first two of the remaining fourth round matches are underway, and the clash between Marin Cilic and Felix Auger-Aliassime is intriguingly poised, with the Canadian, Auger-Aliassime leading 2-1 in sets. Tournament favourite Daniil Medvedev is currently two sets to the good against the big-serving Maxime Cressy, while we need to wait until mid-morning UK time to find out the result for Monday's recommendation, Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal with big edge over Shapovalov

Following his defeat of Alexander Zverev on Sunday, Denis Shapovalov kicks off proceedings on Tuesday at around 3am UK time, facing Rafa Nadal. The King of Clay, Nadal, who of course isn't too bad on hard courts either, is the 1.38 favourite and interestingly, Shapovalov has had hard court success against Nadal previously. The Canadian won their first meeting in August 2017, while also prevailing towards the end of December in the Abu Dhabi exhibition event, although it should be pointed out that Shapovalov was favourite then, with fitness concerns spooking the market with regards to Nadal.

On hard court in the last 12 months, Nadal has a pretty sizeable advantage. He's won around 4% more service points, and has a similar edge on return as well. Considering this, his status as a solid pre-match favourite looks entirely justified, and it's also worth making the point that Nadal's numbers in the tournament so far have been superior as well, and not by a small margin. I'd be pretty surprised if we don't see Nadal lining up in the semi-finals later on in the week.

Monfils with a decent chance of an underdog victory

The other quarter-final on Tuesday looks more evenly matched. Matteo Berrettini is the 1.64 favourite over Gael Monfils, and I think this is a match which could be pretty volatile in terms of unpredictability.

We know about Monfils' famed inconsistency, which has beset the 35-year-old's career - the raw talent was never in any doubt - while Berrettini wasn't fancied by the market at all in advance of the event, following some injury issues at the ATP Finals.

Monfils hasn't dropped a set so far in the tournament, and won a warm-up event earlier in the month also, so his start to the season couldn't have gone much better. Berrettini, on the other hand, has rather fought his way through to this stage, playing 16 sets in four matches.

There's likely to be a clear difference in levels of accumulated fatigue between the duo here, and all things considered, I like Monfils' chances as a pre-match underdog.

There's certainly nothing in year-long hard court data to understand the market pricing, and the accumulated fatigue argument tips it further into the Frenchman's favour. Monfils is our Tuesday recommendation.

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