• Del Potro and Simon take the court in Marseille

    2/21/13 3:04 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Del Potro and Simon take the court in Marseille Defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro and Frenchman Gilles Simon will be in action on Thursday as the field looks ahead to the quarterfinals.

    Juan Martin Del Potro (2) vs. Michael Llodra

    Rotterdam champ Juan Martin Del Potro will look to make it two tournament wins in a row this week as he heads closer to the weekend in Marseille. Standing in his way on Thursday is last year's finalist, Michael Llodra.

    When Del Potro and Llodra met on these courts one year ago, it was the Argentine who came out on top in a straight set 6-4, 6-4 victory. But Llodra did score an upset win over Del Potro on the indoor courts in Paris Bercy last fall with a straight set victory of his own.

    As world No. 7, Del Potro will go into this match as the prohibitive favorite. Llodra is playing at home on quick indoor courts so he may have a chance at the upset, but the Argentine should get the win.

    Gilles Simon (6) vs. Roberto Bautista Agut

    In their only other meeting, Gilles Simon defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in easy straight sets at the Miami Masters last year. The Spaniard has really come on of late though; he's raised his ranking to No. 57 in the world from a spot outside the Top 100 as recently as August of 2012.

    Still, Simon--who nabbed the No. 6 seed--is playing at home and he has more experience than Bautista Agut does. Simon missed out on a first-round bye, so he faced down Robin Haase, beating the Dutchman in straight sets.

    Prediction - Simon isn't at his best on faster indoor courts, but he should get past Bautista Agut and find his way into the quarterfinals.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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