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Monte Carlo Upsets, Preview

Too much tennis for Monaco, Lopez


April 17, 2012 | 10:03 PM

The two seeds who were upset today had this in common: too much tennis last week.

- 11th seed Juan Monaco, fresh from winning the U.S. Clay title two days ago in Houston, retired in the 3rd set at 3-2 to Robin Haase.

- Feliciano Lopez, a semi-final loser to Isner in Houston, lost 6-1, 6-4 to Stan Wawrinka.

If you're John Isner following this from your home in the states, you feel good about your decision to rest.

Otherwise in Monte Carlo, it was another uneventful day of favorites beating opponents. How uneventful was it?

- in 16 1st and 2nd round matches, there were only 4 three setters and 2 two setters that were more than barely competitive

Without the data to support this yet, it's premature to say that ATP tournies on clay host fewer upsets, but it's certainly a supposition worth testing. More on this when it's done.

TOMORROW the top 3 seeds will see their first opponents, and while the quality of tennis may be more engaging than the scenery during their matches, there's not a lot on the Court Centrale docket that looks to be competitive:

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB)

v Andreas Seppi (ITA)

Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)

v

[2] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)

v

[5] David Ferrer (ESP)

Where there could be competition and suspense on Court des Princes (s'il vous plait!) is with these match-ups:

Bernard Tomic (AUS)

v

[16] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)

Julien Benneteau (FRA)

v

[15] Jurgen Melzer (AUT)

Marin Cilic (CRO)

v

[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE)

[12] Kei Nishikori (JPN)

v

[WC] Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)

At least Tomic, Benneteau and Cilic each have wins over their opponents, and in Tomic's case, it is his most recent encounter with Dogman that he won in 5 sets at the Oz Open. That said, Bernie is looking for his first ATP win on clay - last year he failed to qualify for Monte Carlo, and lost in the 1st round in Paris. This is a good opportunity for it, given that Dogman has a losing record on clay. Were he in good physical condition, Bernie's game should lend itself to positive clay results. Were he in condition... We'll see.

This event may not get interesting until the later rounds.

Rick

ATP 1000 1st, 2nd round results 4.17


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