• Kohlschreiber faces Rochus, Mathieu returns

    1/30/12 8:28 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Kohlschreiber faces Rochus, Mathieu returns Philipp Kohlschreiber will go up against Olivier Rochus on Tuesday in Montpellier. Paul-Henri Mathieu, meanwhile, is making a rare appearance on a tennis court.

    Olivier Rochus vs. (7) Philipp Kohlschreiber

    Rochus and Kohlshcreiber will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers and second time this season when they do battle in round one of the Open Sud de France on Tuesday. The head-to-head series is tied at two apiece, but Rochus won their only hard-court encounter 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-4 earlier this month in the Auckland semifinals. That was their first meeting since 2007.

    Kohlschreiber, however, bounced back and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open before succumbing to Juan Martin Del Potro. Rochus advanced one round in Melbourne then ran into Tomas Berdych and lost in straight sets. The 31-year-old Belgian is a three-time runner up on indoor hard courts on the ATP Tour, but Kohlschreiber is also no slouch on fast surfaces. Look for the German to get some revenge after another tight three-setter.

    (WC) Paul-Henri Mathieu vs. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe

    Mathieu will be playing his first ATP match since the Basel first round in November of 2010 when he takes the court on Tuesday in Montpellier. The French veteran beat Florian Mayer in that event, withdrew prior to his second-round match, and missed the entirety of 2011 with a knee injury. Mathieu returned last week for a Challenger tournament and lost to Ruben Bemelmans 7-6(6), 5-7, 6-3 in the opening round.

    Up first for the wild card is Stebe, who is starting to make a name for himself on the ATP Tour. The 21-year-old German won the Challenger Tour Finals last fall and he is up to a career-high ranking of No. 72 in the world. Stebe lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the first round of the Australian Open then reached the semis of the same Challenger event in which Mathieu participated (also lost to Bemelmans). Mathieu has a chance here, but Stebe in three sets is the pick.

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