On Thursday, April 11, Lorenzo Sonego will take on world No. 15 Ugo Humbert in the Round of 16 in the Monte Carlo Masters. This is a match that seems like it should be pretty straightforward for the Frenchman, who is a career-best 17-7 (70.8%) in 2024. But his track record on clay is rather lousy, and Sonego should have a real shot in this match. I’m taking the Italian to win a set, and I’m also putting a little something on him to win outright.

While Humbert is just 11-24 on clay at the ATP level, Sonego is 49-47. He has won more matches than Humbert has played. Humbert might be in the middle of a massive leap, but he’s still just 3-6 on clay over the last 52 weeks. So, his improvements haven’t exactly manifested themselves on the red dirt.

Meanwhile, Sonego has been struggling a bit over the last year or so, but he’s still 11-9 on clay over the last 52 weeks. He’s just a fantastic clay-court player.

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If you need any proof as to how much better Sonego is on the dirt, check out the fact that he’s 2-0 on clay against Humbert, and 0-2 against him on other surfaces. In fact, Sonego earned a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 win over Humbert in this very tournament last year. Then, Sonego beat him to a pulp at Roland Garros, coming away with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory. Overall, that success makes it hard not to like Sonego as a big plus-money underdog.

This season has been rough for Sonego, with his poor returning being a big part of that. He’s breaking at an absurdly low 11.7% this season. And it’s also a little concerning heading into a match against a big server. But Sonego, who is only in this tournament because of Carlos Alcaraz’s withdrawal, broke Felix Auger-Aliassime three times in a straight-set win last round. And there are some real similarities between Humbert and Auger-Aliassime, so that match should serve as good preparation for him, and a good comp for us.

I understand why Humbert is favored to win this match, but the head-to-head history between these two is hard to ignore. Sonego just knows how to get the job done on clay, while Humbert is trying to figure it out. That said, I think Sonego finds a way to push Humbert, at the very least. That’s why I’m willing to bite the bullet on some juice. And I’m throwing a half-unit on the moneyline because I genuinely think he wins this match more often than not.

Pick: Sonego +1.5 Sets (-160) & Sonego ML (+172 at 0.5 units)