• Monaco, Wawrinka in action at BNP Paribas Open

    3/10/12 3:21 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Monaco, Wawrinka in action at BNP Paribas Open Juan Monaco will contest his Indian Wells opener against Nicolas Mahut on Saturday. Stanislas Wawrinka is also in action as he takes on Robby Ginepri.

    Nicolas Mahut vs. (22) Juan Monaco

    Monaco and Mahut will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers when they clash in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday. Mahut took both of their previous encounters, but they have not faced each other in more than four years. The Frenchman prevailed in four sets at the 2007 Australian Open and in a third-set tiebreaker later that season in Indian Wells.

    Mahut is off to a good start in the desert, having rolled over qualifier Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday. The world No. 93 is now a solid 6-6 at the ATP level in 2012. Monaco's year has been highlighted by a title on the clay courts of Indian Wells. However, the 22nd-ranked Argentine retired (illness/heat) last week in his Acapulco opener. The surface may be a little too slow for Mahut in this one, so Monaco in three sets is the pick.

    (23) Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Robby Ginepri

    Wawrinka and Ginepri are also squaring off for the first time since 2007. Their only previous meeting came at the U.S. Open that season, with Wawrinka surviving 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Ginepri has slowed down in recent years and the 29-year-old American is down at No. 211 in the rankings due to injury. He overcame Paolo Lorenzi 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday.

    Registering at No. 23 in the world, Wawrinka is 9-5 for his 2012 campaign. The Swiss has won at least two matches in three of his four tournaments this season and he is coming off consecutive semifinals in Buenos Aires and Acapulco. Ginepri is at his best on American hard courts so this could be close, but look for Wawrinka to prevail in three.

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