• Monaco, Tipsarevic and Almagro in early round action

    5/29/12 3:33 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Monaco, Tipsarevic and Almagro in early round action Juan Monaco, Nicolas Almagro and Janko Tipsarevic will take to the court on Tuesday as the last of the first round matches are completed.

    Juan Monaco (13) vs. Guillaume Rufin

    World No. 15 will take on world No. 150 as Argentina’s Juan Monaco battles Frenchman Guillaume Rufin. Monaco comes into the French Open with spotty preparation due to an injury in Monte Carlo which saw him out in the first round. His only other European clay court event came in Rome, where he lost in the third round to finalist Novak Djokovic.

    Guillaume Rufin is largely a Challenger-level player. The Frenchman has had varying success on clay in the Challengers, but his main tour record for the year is a scant 2-4. Monaco should advance in straight sets.

    Nicolas Almagro (12) vs. Paolo Lorenzi

    Nicolas Almagro is a clay-court warrior, with the never-say-die Spaniard taking the title in Nice just a few days ago. His prior three tournaments on European clay resulted in third round showings.

    Lorenzi is ranked 86th in the world. He has won a few matches on the main tour during the spring clay-court swing, but mostly his successes come on the Challenger circuit.

    Fatigue may be a factor for Almagro as the fortnight wears on, but even after his efforts in the south of France last week, the Spaniard should have no trouble moving into the second round.

    Janko Tipsarevic (8) vs. Sam Querrey

    American Sam Querrey has had a disastrous start to the 2012 season. He hasn’t won more than one match at any single main tour event. The American won a tournament in Sarasota, but that was at the Challenger level. His ranking, which has sunk to 71st in the world, has forced him to qualify for his last few events.

    Querrey has a winning 3-1 record over Janko Tipsarevic, but the Serb is playing much better tennis now than he was in 2011, when they last met. The world No. 8 has a quarterfinal showing in Barcelona and a semifinal in Madrid to show for his spring clay efforts.

    Prediction – Tipsarevic in straight sets.

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