• Monfils, Wawrinka kick off Rome campaigns

    5/13/12 10:43 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Monfils, Wawrinka kick off Rome campaigns Gael Monfils will look to find his form on Monday in Rome as he goes up against Alex Bogomolov. Stanislas Wawrinka and Robin Haase are also in action.

    Alex Bogomolov vs. (13) Gael Monfils

    Bogomolov and Monfils will be squaring off for the second time in their careers on Monday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Monfils won their only previous meeting 6-2, 7-6(5) last year on the hard courts of Montreal. Bogomolov was in the midst of his best season on tour at the time, but 2012 has been a disaster for the Russian. His record stands at 7-12 after losing his Madrid opener to Kevin Anderson.

    Monfils has once again been plagued by injuries, so he has played sparingly. The 14th-ranked Frenchman is 13-5 for his 2012 campaign after getting blown out by Tomas Berdych in the Madrid third round. He should be able to showcase much better defense in Rome, where the surface is more suitable for his game. Count on Monfils rolling in straight sets.

    Stanislas Wawrinka vs. (Q) Robin Haase

    Haase and Wawrinka are set for their fifth career encounter on Monday in Rome. Wawrinka has won all four of their previous matchups, including most recently with a 6-1, 6-4 victory just a few weeks ago in the Estoril quarterfinals. All three prior meetings went to three sets and all three were contested on hard courts.

    It has already been a strong showing in Rome for Haase, who qualified for the main draw with wins over Sergiy Stakhovsky and Xavier Malisse. Haase, a quarterfinalist in Monte Carlo, is 12-10 for the season. Wawrinka advanced two rounds in Madrid before succumbing to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Look for the 21st-ranked Swiss to take care of his opponent in straight sets.

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1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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