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With Djokovic a no-show Nadal is a huge favourite in Monte Carlo

| 11.04.2011

Novak Djokovic will not be defending his 2011 unbeaten streak in Monaco this week after deciding to bypass the Monte Carlo Masters.

A current resident of Monte Carlo, Djokovic’s decision to pull out of his local tournament has surprised a few people and punters will have to wait a little longer to see the Serb put his unbeaten record on the line against Rafael Nadal on clay.

Djokovic’s withdrawal means Nadal is 2/7 to win the Monte Carlo Masters and the Spaniard starts his tournament with a tie against either Jarkko Nieminen or Julien Benneteau who face each other tonight.

Nieminen is the 8/11 favourite to progress and set-up a second round tie with Nadal, and considering he leads Benneteau 3-0 in head-to-heads, it looks the bet of the day in today’s Monte Carlo Masters betting.

Roger Federer is second favourite to win this week and already knows his second-round opponent, the big-serving Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Federer has never lost to the German and the world number three can get his tournament off to a great start – he is 1/9 to win – as he bids to regain world number two status in Djokovic’s absence.

Andy Murray has also made the trip to Monaco and he will be hoping his clay court season goes a lot better than his 2011 hard court season which ended in the Scot failing to win a set since his crushing defeat by Djokovic in the Australian Open final.

Murray is 33/1 to win this week but as third seed faces a relatively easy draw with Giles Simon the top seed in his quarter.

In Nadal’s half of the draw, Murray faces either Redak Stepanek or Marcos Bagdhatis in the second round.

This is the tightest match of the first round but we’re siding with Stepanek to win at 4/6 after their only match on clay saw the Czech lead a set up and a break up before Baghdatis retired.

A £20 stake on Murray winning the Monte Carlo Masters would return £680. New customers can sign up here to claim a £30 free bet.

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Author

Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.