• Gil, Montanes begin Brasil Open campaigns

    2/13/12 3:45 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Gil, Montanes begin Brasil Open campaigns Frederico Gil and Albert Montanes will be in action on the first day of main-draw action in Sao Paulo. They are set for respective meetings with Javier Marti and Filippo Volandri.

    (WC) Javier Marti vs. Frederico Gil

    Gil, the definition of a clay-court specialist, will begin his Brasil Open campaign on Monday afternoon with a first-ever matchup against Marti. The Portuguese veteran got off to a typically slow start on hard courts this season, but he heated up with a surprise run to the third round of the Australian Open. Gil advanced two rounds earlier this month in Vina del Mar before losing to Jeremy Chardy.

    Marti, ranked 94 spots behind his opponent at No. 181 in the world, is a 20-year-old Spaniard who is just starting to make his way on the professional circuit. This will be his first ATP-level match of the year and he owns just a 1-5 lifetime record. Marti is capable on the slow stuff, but this is a tough test for him and Gil should take it in straight sets.

    (7) Albert Montanes vs. Filippo Volandri

    Montanes and Volandri will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers at the ATP level and ninth time overall (all on clay) when they do battle in a Sao Paulo opener on Monday. Volandri has won five of their eight encounters; three of five on the ATP Tour and two of three on the Challenger circuit. They most recently faced each other last spring in Casablanca, where Montanes rolled 6-1, 6-4.

    Both players have been struggling of late, and Volandri is still in search of his first victory in 2012. The Italian lost all three of his hard-court matches then suffered an opening-round loss on his preferred clay-court surface, going down in a third-set tiebreaker to Jaoa Souza in Vina del Mar. Montanes is down at No. 52 in the world as of Sunday, 18 spots ahead of his opponent. The Spaniard is 2-3 at the ATP level this year after a quarterfinal performance in Vina del Mar. This could go either way, but Montanes in three sets is the pick.

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