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  • Tsonga, Cilic continue French Open campaigns

    5/28/13 9:45 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga, Cilic continue French Open campaigns Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will go up against Jarkko Nieminen on Wednesday at Roland Garros. Marin Cilic is also looking for a spot in the third round as he faces Australian Open junior champion Nick Kyrgios.

    (6) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Jarkko Nieminen

    Nieminen and Tsonga will be squaring off for the seventh time in their careers and for the second time this season when they collide in round two of the French Open on Wednesday. Tsonga leads the head-to-head series 4-2, but they have never faced each other on clay. A third-round Miami encounter two months ago went Tsonga's way 6-3, 6-3. Nieminen's two victories over his opponent came in 2008 (Adelaide) and Tokyo (2010).

    Tsonga, a quarterfinalist last year, kicked off his Roland Garros campaign on Monday with an easy straight-set win at the expense of Aljaz Bedene. The eighth-ranked Frenchman is now 22-8 for the year, which includes a title in Marseille and a recent semifinal showing in Monte-Carlo. Nieminen faced another Frenchman, Paul-Henri Mathieu, in his opener and survived a five-set thriller. The 38th-ranked Finn boasts an outstanding 22-13 record for the season. Nieminen's ball-striking is just about as good as it gets, but a powerful opponent like Tsonga can take his timing away. Look for the No. 6 seed to prevail in four sets.

    (WC) Nick Kyrgios vs. (10) Marin Cilic

    Kyrgios and Cilic will be meeting for the first time in their careers--obviously--on Wednesday. After all, Kyrgios' opener against Radek Stepanek was his first career main-draw match at any ATP-level tournament or Grand Slam. The 18-year-old Aussie made a name for himself by winning the Australian Open junior title earlier this season and he won a Futures event on hard courts last month. In his first clay-court match of the year, Kyrgios battled past Stepanek in three tiebreakers; 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 7-6(11).

    Cilic has been in dreadful form since reaching the Miami quarterfinals in March. The 11th-ranked Croat is a decent 19-9 for his 2013 campaign, but he had been a disappointing 3-4 on European clay heading in the French Open. Cilic, who dropped his opening matches in Munich and Madrid, hammered a rusty Philipp Petzschner 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in round one. This should be a entertaining and big-hitting affair that features few breaks of serve even on the slow stuff. Cilic in five sets is the pick.

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Comments

Tsonga through in straight sets
Paire also through, FR players doing well this year.

Shireling , 5/29/13 3:08 PM



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