• Benneteau and Monaco battle for Kuala Lumpur title

    9/30/12 3:49 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Benneteau and Monaco battle for Kuala Lumpur title Julien Benneteau looks for his first career title, while Juan Monaco will vie for a fourth crown in 2012.

    This will be the first ever meeting between Julien Benneteau of France and Argentina's Juan Monaco. The Argentine is ranked the higher of the two men, sitting at No. 11 in the world, while Benneteau is ranked 34th. But in this encounter, the biggest factor might be the surface.

    Monaco is a classic clay-courter. His good ranking this year has largely to do with his performance on both South American and European clay. His one fantastic hard-court result came in Miami, where he advanced to the semifinals. He can play well on hards, but he can also suffer bad losses to much lower-ranked opponents, as he proved at the US Open, where he lost in the first round to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

    Benneteau had a patchy fall coming into the Malaysian Open. The Frenchman had a third-round showing at the US Open, but the rest of the summer was a series of disappointing first and second-round results.

    Monaco will have the advantage of experience in big match play, but Benneteau is better on hard courts, which he displayed in his impressive 6-4, 6-1 upset over David Ferrer on Saturday.

    Prediction - Benneteau for his first title.

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Cheryl's going with Benny. I did see the third set of Monaco and Nishikori. I thought that Nishikori blew it at 5-3 and serving for the match. Monaco was smart enough to capitalize. He does look good, but I am keeping in mind the surface.

I did not get a chance to see Benny, but that scoreline against Ferrer is impressive. Ferrer could be a bit tired at this point. Benny's got game because he was up two sets against Fed at Wimbledon before he ran out of gas.

However, I don't see fitness being an issue given that it's best two out of three. I look forward to a great match and either guy will be a deserving winner.

Nativenewyorker , 9/30/12 9:56 AM

Vamos Pico!!

Slay Benny, the evil Ferru slayer!

My head says Benny will successfully continue with his evil machinations though.............

rafaisthebest , 9/30/12 10:09 AM

1st set Pico, Vamos!!!

rafaisthebest , 9/30/12 12:04 PM

AMAZING match from what I saw

RickyDimon , 9/30/12 1:48 PM

Not bad for a dirt-baller........

Vamos Pico!!!!

rafaisthebest , 9/30/12 2:29 PM

Fantastic win for Pico - I am very happy for him. It looks like it was a good match - I shall have to see if I can find it somewhere on the internet and watch it.

Vamos indeed!

schatz , 9/30/12 5:12 PM

Experience wins out again. Good on Pico.

cherylmurray , 9/30/12 8:24 PM

Congratulations to Monaco! I knew that he was playing well against Nishikori, but wasn't sure about Benny, since I had not seen him play.

I am so happy for him! Well done!

Nativenewyorker , 9/30/12 11:08 PM

Must be very disappointing for Benneteau who is now 0-8 in finals. Would have been nice if he could have won his first title. Anyway, good win and congrats to Monaco. He was the better man.

scoretracker , 9/30/12 11:15 PM

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