The Pick MC Khachanov Schwartzman R1

The early rounds of the 2022 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters are loaded with enticing match-ups, but we’re especially interested in the clash between world No. 24 Karen Khachanov and world No. 16 Diego Schwartzman. Neither one of them is playing all that well coming into this match, but that’s part of the reason that bettors should be looking to be opportunistic with this one.

While Schwartzman is just 13-7 in 2022, and 2-3 in his last five matches, the 29-year-old is 8-3 when playing on clay in the 2022 season. The Argentine made deep runs at Cordoba, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, and that should have him prepared for what he’s going to experience in this massive tournament. Meanwhile, Khachanov hasn’t played a clay-court match since last year’s French Open, where he only won one match. That nine-month gap on the dirt could have Khachanov feeling somewhat uncomfortable to start this match.


The style of play in this match-up also happens to be one that favors Schwartzman, which is part of the reason that the Argentine has won three of the five times they’ve played—although one of those wins was in an exhibition. While Khachanov is an impressive talent, with a good combination of size, mobility and power, Schwartzman is a next-level defensive player, capable of tracking down tough shots and putting them in play with regularity. There isn’t a player on tour that works harder than the 29-year-old, and that is going to really frustrate Khachanov here. The Russian is capable of hitting some impressive shots off both sides, but he can get in his own head when things aren’t going right. And if Schwartzman is extending rallies and forcing him to make mistakes, this could go downhill fast for the 25-year-old.

Schwartzman is also a player that really feeds off the energy of the crowd, and it’s rather likely that the fans in Monaco will end up getting behind him in this one. Because of how hard he plays, Schwartzman generally ends up winning over the fans in attendance. And considering he’s facing a much bigger opponent in this one, there will be a David-and-Goliath feel to this match. Schwartzman, who hasn’t played his best tennis to start 2022, could quickly start to feel good about his game if these fans are urging him on.

Overall, it’s just much easier to trust a competitor like Schwartzman to be the player to get back on track in a match like this one, and the odds aren’t terrible to get him as a favorite. We like Schwartzman to ultimately pull through as a -175 favorite on the moneyline, but we also think he can cover the 1.5-game spread if you’d rather take a chance on him doing that. However, at -150 for the game spread, you’re better off just paying a little extra juice and not having to worry about the games at all.

The Pick: Schwartzman To Win (-175)