• Isner opens with Berlocq, Benneteau battles Berankis

    5/26/13 11:26 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner opens with Berlocq, Benneteau battles Berankis John Isner and Julien Benneteau will kick off their French Open campaigns on Monday. They are set for respective meetings with Carlos Berlocq and Ricardas Berankis.

    Carlos Berlocq vs. (19) John Isner

    Berlocq and Isner will be squaring off for the first time in their careers when they meet in round one of the French Open on Monday afternoon. Both players are heading into this encounter with identical 13-12 records for their 2013 campaigns. For Isner, it has been a major disappointment aside from a title last month on the clay courts of Houston. The European red stuff has been a different story for Isner. The 6'9'' American is 1-4 since triumphing in Houston.

    The spring has been similarly underwhelming for Berlocq, with one positive note--a clinching win in Argentina's Davis Cup victory over France--prior to a relative slump. The world No. 71 failed to qualify for Madrid, fell in the Rome first round to Stanislas Wawrinka, then lost in the Nice second round to Paul-Henri Mathieu. Isner once took Rafael Nadal to five sets at Roland Garros (2011 first round), but recent struggles are not encouraging. Berlocq in four sets is the pick.

    (30) Julien Benneteau vs. Ricardas Berankis

    Berankis and Benneteau are also going head-to-head for the first time in their careers. Benneteau has fared well at Roland Garros in the past, having reached a quarterfinal (2006), another fourth round (2008), and another third round last season. The 32nd-ranked Frenchman, however, is in dire need of any kind of win right now. Since finishing runner-up to Juan Martin Del Potro in Rotterdam, Benneteau owns a horrendous 2-7 record.

    By contrast, Berankis is contesting the main draw of the French Open for the first time in his career. The 22-year-old Lithuanian is up to a career-high ranking of No. 67 in the world, so he did not have to qualify as he attempted to do in 2010. Berankis, a third-round performer at the Australian Open, has three clay-court wins this season--two in Houston and one in Nice. Based on Benneteau's lack of confidence, look for Berankis to score an upset in five sets.

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