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  • Tsonga takes on Chardy, Simon clashes with Querrey

    5/30/13 7:36 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga takes on Chardy, Simon clashes with Querrey French hopes Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon will continue their Roland Garros campaigns on Friday. Tsonga is going up against countryman Jeremy Chardy while Simon faces Sam Querrey.

    (6) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. (25) Jeremy Chardy

    Tsonga and Chardy will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers when the two competitors do battle in an all-French affair on Friday. They split their two previous encounters; Tsonga won 6-4, 7-6(5) in the 2009 Johannesburg final before Chardy prevailed 6-4, 7-6(4) last summer at the Toronto Masters, also on a hard court. Chardy is a modest 12-11 this year, but he is getting the job done at Grand Slams. A quarterfinalist at the Australian Open, the world No. 27 booked his spot in this showdown with straight-set dismissals of Benjamin Becker and Roberto Bautista Agut.

    Even though clay is by no means his best surface, Tsonga is no stranger to success at Roland Garros. The eighth-ranked Frenchman advanced to the round of 16 twice prior to last season and in 2012 he made a quarterfinal run before losing to Novak Djokovic in five sets. Tsonga has improved his record for this year to 23-8 follow straight-set victories over Aljaz Bedene and Jarkko Nieminen. The sixth seed is looking inspired this fortnight, and he should not drop more than one set to Chardy.

    (15) Gilles Simon vs. (18) Sam Querrey

    Simon and Querrey will squaring off for the fourth time in their careers and for the first time in almost three years when they face off on Friday. The head-to-head series stands at 2-1 in Simon's favor, but Querrey won their only previous clay-court meeting 7-5, 6-3 at the 2009 World Team Championship in Dusseldorf. Simon's victories came in three sets at the 2008 Indianapolis event and most recently at the 2010 Beijing Masters.

    Querrey would rather play on a faster surface, but by American standards he is quite adept on the slow stuff. He certainly has been this week. The world No. 20 is coming off straight-set routs of Lukas Lacko and Jan Hajek, in which he did not even get extended to a tiebreaker. Simon had a more difficult draw with Lleyton Hewitt in the first round but he survived 7-5 in the fifth. The 18th-ranked Frenchman improved to 25-14 for the season when he dropped the first set then triple-breadsticked Pablo Cuevas on Wednesday. With home-court advantage and a slight edge in current form, Simon should advance in four sets.

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