• Volandri replaces Fognini, to face Monfils

    4/22/13 6:25 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Volandri replaces Fognini, to face Monfils Gael Monfils will go up against Filippo Volandri on Tuesday in Bucharest. Lukas Rosol and Gilles Muller are also bidding for a place in the second round.

    (LL) Filippo Volandri vs. (WC) Gael Monfils

    Volandri and Monfils will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers when they clash in round one of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy on Tuesday afternoon. Interestingly enough, their most recent encounter--which came six years ago--was also contested in the first round of this same event. Monfils prevailed 6-3, 7-6(4) to extend his head-to-head record to 2-0, having previously scored a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Volandri in the 2006 Doha semifinals.

    The 105th-ranked Frenchman has struggled mightily with knee problems over the past two seasons. He at least owns nine ATP-level wins in 2013 but he has cooled off significantly of late. Monfils is 2-5 since the Australian Open after losing his Monte-Carlo opener to Albert Montanes. Volandri retired in the final round of Bucharest qualifying on Monday but he got into the main draw when Fabio Fognini withdrew. That does not bode well for the Italian even though he is always at his best on clay. Monfils in straight sets is the pick.

    Gilles Muller vs. Lukas Rosol

    Muller and Rosol are also no strangers to first-round affairs. In fact, they just faced each other last month in a Miami opener, with Rosol getting the job done 7-5, 6-4. The 6'5'' Czech is a respectable 8-8 for the season and he registers just two spots off his career-high ranking at 48th in the world. Rosol is coming off two Davis Cup singles wins over Kazakhstan earlier in April.

    Recent activity suggests Muller will be hard-pressed to exact a measure of revenge on his opponent. The 68th-ranked Luxembourgian has played only two matches on clay in 2013, winning a pair of lower-level Davis Cup rubbers against Hungary. Muller has just two ATP-level wins this year outside of Davis Cup (both in Marseille). Look for Rosol to advance in three sets.

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