• Monfils returns to action on Tuesday in Metz

    9/17/12 10:12 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Monfils returns to action on Tuesday in Metz Gael Monfils will contest his first match since May against Olivier Rochus on Tuesday in Metz. Benoit Paire and Xavier Malisse are also in opening-round action.

    (7) Gael Monfils vs. Olivier Rochus

    Monfils will play his first match in almost exactly four months when he takes the court at the Moselle Open on Tuesday evening. The Frenchman has been dealing with yet another knee injury and he is down at No. 44 in the world as a result. Monfils is a modest 14-7 for his abbreviated 2012 campaign and he has not won a match since the Rome first round.

    Up first for Monfils is a sixth career meeting against Rochus. The head-to-head series stands at 3-2 in Rochus' favor, but the Belgian last prevailed in 2006 and Monfils has won two in a row (most recently on the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam in 2010). Rochus stands at 100th in the world with a disappointing 10-21 record at the ATP level this season. Look for Monfils to get the job done in three tough sets.

    Xavier Malisse vs. Benoit Paire

    Malisse and Paire will be squaring off for the first time in their careers on Tuesday in Metz. By the numbers, the matchup could not be much closer. Malisse is ranked 58th in the world and he owns a 20-21 record for the year. Paire, seven spots ahead of his opponent at 51st, is 21-20 for the season.

    After reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, Malisse reached two quarterfinals (Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.) during the U.S. Open Series. But the 32-year-old Belgian lost his opener in Winston-Salem and at the U.S. Open. Paire was an awful 1-4 on the summer hard courts, with his lone win coming in New York. The Frenchman may be a slight favorite at home, but Malisse in three sets is the pick.

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