• Berdych, Monfils clash for Open Sud de France title

    2/4/12 9:27 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Berdych, Monfils clash for Open Sud de France title The Montpellier title is on the line as Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils square off on Sunday. Monfils is taking part in his 17th ATP final while Berdych is in his 13th career title match.

    Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they battle for the Open Sud de France title on Sunday. Their only previous encounter came four years ago in Dubai, where Berdych dominated 6-3, 6-2.

    Four years later, both players have been frequent visitors of the Top 10 and they remain in outstanding form. Berdych reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open before falling to eventual runner-up Rafael Nadal in four sets. The seventh-ranked Czech has not come close to dropping a set in Montpellier, with victories over Florent Serra, Nicolas Mahut, and Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    Monfils kicked off his 2012 campaign with a runner-up finish in Doha, where he upset Nadal then went down to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final. The 13th-ranked Frenchman lost early in Melbourne, but he is back on track this week. So far the No. 3 seed has taken out Michael Russell, Jarkko Nieminen, and Gilles Simon. Monfils dominated his first two opponents then saved a match point before outlasting Simon 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.

    Berdych may not have home-court advantage in France, but he has just about every other edge. The top seed is playing stellar tennis at the moment he owns a decent 6-6 career record in ATP finals. Berdych's most recent title came last fall in Beijing. Monfils, on the other hand, is a shockingly bad 4-12 lifetime in ATP finals.

    Based on on Berdych's current level of play and Monfils' history in title matches, Berdych in two competitive sets is the pick.

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1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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