Ricky’s Miami Open picks for Monday, including Alcaraz vs. Monfils

Carlos Alcaraz will be back on the court at the Miami Open on Monday, aiming for a place in the last 16. His opponent is Gael Monfils, giving the fans a matchup worthy of popcorn. Ben Shelton and Lorenzo Musetti are also in third-round action.

Here are my previews and picks.

(1) Carlos Alcaraz vs. Gael Monfils

Alcaraz and Monfils will be squaring off for the second time in their careers on Monday. Their only previous meeting came at the 2022 Indian Wells Masters, where the Spaniard got the job done 7-5, 6-1. Alcaraz ended up losing in the semifinals of that ’22 IW event, but he has since triumphed in Tennis Paradise twice in succession. Alcaraz’s most recent BNP Paribas Open title gives him a ton of momentum heading into the Miami Open, where rolled over compatriot Roberto Carballes Baena 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday.

Monfils is healthy at the moment; thanks largely to that reason, he is in resurgent form in the twilight of his career. The 37-year-old has won 10 matches this season, including five combined so far in Indian Wells and Miami. Building on his fourth-round showing in Palm Spring, Monfils has picked up victories so far this fortnight over Dusan Lajovic and Jordan Thompson. As well as Monfils is playing, this match is on Alcaraz’s racket.

Pick: Alcaraz in 2

(23) Lorenzo Musetti vs. (16) Ben Shelton

Musetti s has a lot of style, but there is more substance in Shelton’s game. Shelton owns the biggest serve on the circuit — at least from a miles per hour standpoint — and has used it to reach a ranking of No. 17 in the world. The 21-year-old American won two matches at the Indian Wells Masters before losing to Jannik Sinner and he kicked off his Miami campaign by beating Martin Landaluce 6-3, 6-4.

Although Musetti is definitely an all-court player as opposed to a clay-court specialist, he is probably looking forward to a few months of dirt-ball because the hard courts have mostly been unkind to him so far this season. His 2024 record stands at a mere 6-8 this season and he was 1-5 in his last six matches going into Miami — where he defeated Roman Safiullin 7-5, 6-1. The 24th-ranked Italian is probably facing too big of a test against Shelton’s powerful lefty game.

Pick: Shelton in 2

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.

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