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  • Monfils, Ferrer take the court in Doha

    1/1/13 5:14 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Monfils, Ferrer take the court in Doha David Ferrer will contest his 2013 opener against Dustin Brown on Tuesday in Doha. Gael Monfils is also in action.

    (1) David Ferrer vs. (Q) Dustin Brown

    Ferrer and Brown will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they do battle in round one of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Tuesday. Their only previous encounter came in last season's Wimbledon first round, with Ferrer prevailing 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4.

    Brown, who likes to keep points short with aggressive tactics, won't have as good of a chance on a hard court that is not particularly fast. Ferrer, meanwhile, is coming off an awesome season in which he compiled a 76-15 record and won the first Masters title of his career. Brown, a German ranked 167th in the world, did well to qualify for the main draw but this is where his week ends.

    Gael Monfils vs. (WC) Mousa Shanan Zayed

    Arguably the biggest story in Doha is the return of Monfils, whose knee issues went from bad to worse in 2012. The Frenchman did not play a match from late May until late September and he finds himself down at No. 77 in the world. Rumors as dire as potential retirement swirled, but Monfils is apparently ready to take the court right away in 2013.

    Up first for Monfils is Zayed, an 18-year-old wild card from Qatar. Zayed is ranked No. 1,851 in the world and he owns $560 in career prize money. Monfils may be shaking off some serious rust, but he should waltz into the second round while hardly breaking a sweat.


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