• Berdych, Monaco and Verdasco open play on Monday in Melbourne

    1/13/13 5:38 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Berdych, Monaco and Verdasco open play on Monday in Melbourne No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych, Fernando Verdasco and Juan Monaco will take the court on the opening day of play at the Australian Open.

    Tomas Berdych (5) vs. Michael Russell

    The Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych had a rocky start to the 2013 season. He made his debut this year in Chennai, but lost a shocker in the quarterfinals to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

    Still, he shouldn't have much difficulty with Michael Russell, the American veteran now ranked No. 94 in the world. Russell actually has a win over Berdych in his career, but that came years ago, back in 2007 at Indian Wells. Russell's preparation for the Australian Open consisted of a failed attempt to qualify for Auckland.

    Prediction- Berdych in straight sets.

    Fernando Verdasco (22) vs. David Goffin

    Spaniard Fernando Verdasco did not get off to a great start so far this year. He played the event in Sydney last week, but lost his first match at the hands of Denis Istomin. The result puts his 2013 record at 0-1.

    He will take on Belgian David Goffin, who has won one match in two tournaments. Goffin made a breakthrough last year at the French Open, coming up through qualifying to advance to the round of 16.

    Verdasco is an inconsistent player, but Goffin had a terrible end to the 2012 season and may not be playing well enough to find his way to an upset win. Expect Verdasco to advance.

    Juan Monaco (11) vs. Andrey Kuznetsov

    Argentina's Juan Monaco had a great 2012 season, including 4 titles, one of which came on the hard courts of Kuala Lumpur. His 2013 season will kick off against Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, a player who splits his time between the Challenger tour and the main tour.

    Monaco is considered a clay-courter, but he has proven that he can be a factor on hard courts as well. Expect the Argentine, who has far more experience at big events than his opponent, to advance to the second round.

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Goffin had a terrible end to 2012? Not sure what sport Cheryl has been watching recently.

Both Verdasco and Monaco will lose.

RickyDimon , 1/13/13 8:22 PM

15 love: Cheryl...;)

deuce , 1/14/13 7:27 AM

um, no. she had MONACO beating KUZNETSOV! hahahahahaha

RickyDimon , 1/14/13 9:59 AM

Um yes, she had Verdasco beating Goffin.
15 all

deuce , 1/14/13 10:35 AM

Goffin lost in the first round of a challenger, failed to get out of the first round of qualifying at the Paris Masters and lost in the first round in Stockholm. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

cherylmurray , 1/14/13 12:15 PM

he reached the QFs of an ATP event (one of the very few of his career) and reached the final of a Challenger

you have to GROSSLY overrate Goffin in order to call that "terrible"

RickyDimon , 1/14/13 6:12 PM

Verdasco showed some mettle in that match. Maybe, he'll be revitalized to win some more.

scoretracker , 1/14/13 9:27 PM

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