• Del Potro opens in Monte-Carlo against Dolgopolov

    4/15/13 6:32 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Del Potro opens in Monte-Carlo against Dolgopolov Juan Martin Del Potro will kick off his Monte-Carlo campaign on Tuesday. Up first for the Argentine is Alexandr Dolgopolov.

    Juan Martin Del Potro and Alexandr Dolgopolov will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their careers when they do battle in round two of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Tuesday afternoon.

    Del Potro has won all three of their previous encounters, including one on clay. Following straight-set victories at the 2011 Indian Wells Masters and at the 2012 Dubai event, the Argentine cruised 6-3, 6-4 last spring on the blue clay of Madrid.

    Dolgopolov has already played one match this week, a convincing 6-2, 6-4 win over Bernard Tomic on Sunday. The 22nd-ranked Ukrainian, however, has mostly been in dreadful form. He is 9-6 for the season but four of those victories have come against lower-level Davis Cup competition. Dolgopolov lost his openers in Delray Beach and in Indian Wells before falling in the Miami second round.

    Del Potro is a solid 16-5 for his 2013 campaign, which includes a title in Rotterdam and a runner-up finish to Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells. The world No. 7 lost his Miami opener in stunning fashion to Tobias Kamke, but that was due in part to fatigue. Del Potro should be good to go for this week, having been able to rest throughout most of the Miami event and having skipped a Davis Cup tie against France.

    Somewhat surprisingly, Del Potro has never won a main-draw match in Monte-Carlo (he only played in 2008 and 2009). That being said, clay should suit his game and it has in the past at the French Open (semifinals in 2009, quarterfinals in 2012). Based on their past history and Dolgopolov lacking confidence, the No. 5 seed should cruise in straight sets.

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