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Djokovic Begins Monte-Carlo Defence Tuesday

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic enters Monte-Carlo with a 10-match winning streak.

SEEDS IN ACTION: World No. 2 Novak Djokovic kick starts the defence of his Monte-Carlo crown today. The 26-year-old opens his account against qualifier Albert Montanes with the Serb leading the pair’s FedEx H2H series 5-0. Djokovic is one of four top 10 seeds – Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – in action on Day 3 at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. 

DJOKOVIC ON THE DOUBLE? Djokovic clinched his first Monte-Carlo title in 2013 with a straight sets win over Nadal in the final, ending the Spaniard’s eight-year reign in the Principality. This season, the Serb is looking to become the fifth player to successfully defend his crown here, after Bjorn Borg (1980), Thomas Muster (1996), Juan Carlos Ferrero (2003) and Nadal (2006-12). Djokovic enters the tournament on a 10-match winning streak having won back-to-back titles in Indian Wells (d. Federer) and Miami (d. Nadal) for the second time in his career.

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CLAY MATCH-WIN LEADERS: Two of the top three active win leaders on clay are in action today. Ferrer takes a 6-1 H2H record into his clash with Jeremy Chardy, while Almagro will look to overturn an 0-2 deficit when he takes on Paul-Henri Mathieu.

RANK PLAYER CLAY WINS
1 Rafael Nadal 298
2 David Ferrer 267
T3 Nicolas Almagro 236
T3 Tommy Robredo 236
5 Juan Monaco 200

2014 MATCH-WIN LEADERS: Marin Cilic opens against Houston champion Fernando Verdasco today. The Croat reached three consecutive finals in February: Zagreb (d. Haas), Rotterdam (l. to Berdych) & Delray Beach (d. Anderson). He’s tied for second in number of matches won in 2014.

RANK PLAYER 2014 W-L
1 Roger Federer 24-4
T2 Marin Cilic 22-6
T2 Fabio Fognini 22-6
4 Rafael Nadal 21-3

DIMITROV RISING: Grigor Dimitrov rose to a career-high No. 14 in the Emirates ATP Rankings this week. The Bulgarian broke the top 20 for the first time in February after a QF appearance at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal) and a title-winning run in Acapulco (d. No. 18 Gulbis, No. 7 Murray and No. 21 Anderson). The 22-year-old takes on Marcel Granollers in the 1R today.

DAY 3 FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEADS

COURT CENTRAL

Andreas Seppi (ITA) vs [13] Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Youzhny leads 4-0

2006 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) Clay R64 Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 7-6(7)
2008 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R64 Mikhail Youzhny 4-6 7-5 6-3 7-6(4)
2008 ATP Masters Series Canada (Canada) Hard R64 Mikhail Youzhny 7-6(1) 6-2
2009 Marseille (France) Hard R16 Mikhail Youzhny 7-6(2) 6-3

• Seppi is making his ninth appearance in Monte-Carlo. He lost in the 2R in his first seven outings here before falling in the 1R last year (l. to Fognini).
• Seppi has yet to win back-to-back matches this season. He reached the 3R at both Indian Wells (l. to Wawrinka) and Miami (l. to Ferrer) after receiving 1R byes.
• Seppi helped Italy reach the Davis Cup SFs for first time in 16 years with a 3-2 win over Great Britain; beat James Ward in the fifth rubber after losing to Andy Murray.
• Seppi finished 2013 inside the top 25 for the second year in a row and reached the SF on five different occasions. He also had the most five-set wins on the ATP World Tour (7-1).
• Youzhny is making his 10th visit to Monte-Carlo. His best showing was a 3R appearance on his debut in 2001 (l. to Alberto Martin). He fell to eventual champ Djokovic in the 2R last year.
• Youzhny’s best showing of the season came in Dubai where he reached the QF before withdrawing with an illness. A back injury has kept him out of action since his QF run in Dubai.
• Before Dubai, Youzhny had won just one Tour-level match this year. The Russian fell in his opening match in Chennai (l. to Sela), Zagreb (l. to Phau) and Rotterdam (l. to Sijsling). He reached the 2R at the Australian Open (d. Struff, l. to Mayer).
• The top Russian finished 2013 in the top 20 for the fifth time in his career and the first since 2010. His year was highlighted by two ATP titles in Gstaad (d. Haase) and Valencia (d. No. 3 Ferrer).

[9] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Tsonga leads 6-1

2007 Metz (France) Hard R16 J W Tsonga 5-7 7-6(5) 6-3
2009 World Team Championship (Düsseldorf) Clay RR P Kohlschreiber 6-7(2) 6-3 6-3
2010 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Hard R32 J W Tsonga 6-2 7-5
2011 GER vs. FRA WG QF (Germany) Clay RR J W Tsonga 7-6(3) 7-6(5)
2012 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Hard R32 J W Tsonga 6-4 7-6(2)
2012 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo Clay R32 J W Tsonga 6-2 6-4
2012 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass QF J W Tsonga 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(3) 6-2

• Tsonga is set to make his fifth appearance in Monte-Carlo. His best showing came last year when he reached the SF (l. to Nadal). He has never fallen in his opening match here.
• Tsonga reached his lone final this season on home soil in Marseille in February (l. to Gulbis) before advancing to the QF in Dubai (l. to Berdych). He opened his year at the Australian Open where he reached the R16 (l. to Federer).
• At Indian Wells, Tsonga fell in his opening match to compatriot Benneteau, a result which saw him drop down to No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on March 17 – his first week outside the top 10 since August 29, 2011. He reached the 4R in Miami (l. to Murray).
• Tsonga finished 2013 in the top 10 for the third year in a row and for the fifth time in six years, reaching the QF or better 10 times.
• Tsonga’s will celebrate his 29th birthday on Thursday.
• Kohlschreiber opened his account on Monday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over wild card Simone Bolelli. The German didn’t face a single BP during the 75-minute encounter.
• Kohlschreiber is making his eighth appearance in Monte-Carlo. He has reached the QF here twice: on his debut in 2007 (l. to Nadal) and in 2010 (l. to Ferrer).
• Kohlschreiber’s best showing this year came in Dubai where he advanced to the SF (l. to Berdych). He has reached an additional three QFs in 2014: Auckland (l. to Isner), Zagreb (l. to Evans) and Rotterdam (l. to Sijsling). In Auckland, the German’s 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-7(5) defeat to Isner in the QF had no breaks of serve.
• Kohlschreiber finished 2013 inside the top 30 for the fourth time in six years, reaching three finals in Auckland, Munich and Stuttgart.

[Q] Albert Montanes (ESP) vs [2] Novak Djokovic (SRB)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Djokovic leads 5-0

2008 ATP Masters Series Hamburg (Germany) Clay QF Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-3
2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo Clay R16 Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-7(4) 6-0
2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) Clay R32 Novak Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-0
2010 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass R32 Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-4 6-4
2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) Clay R32 Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-3

• Montanes took just under two hours to post a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 upset over Benoit Paire in the 1R.
• Montanes is making his eighth appearance in Monte-Carlo. He has reached the QF here once before in 2010, defeating then No. 9 Marin Cilic in the 4R before falling to Verdasco. He has fallen in the 2R in his last three outings here.
• Montanes’ best showing of the season came in Sao Paulo in February when he reached the QF (l. to eventual champion Delbonis).
• Montanes finished 2013 in the top 100 for the 13th year in succession, capturing the sixth title of his career in Nice (d. Monfils). He was one of six Spanish winners last year.
• Montanes is 6-34 lifetime versus top 10 opponents and 0-1 this year. His last top 10 win came over No. 9 Richard Gasquet in Umag last year.
• Djokovic is making his eighth appearance in Monte-Carlo. He lifted his maiden crown here last year, ending Rafael Nadal’s eight-year reign in the final. He has advanced to the SF or better in his last five visits.
• Djokovic arrives in Europe after a successful March in the U.S. The Serb completed the Indian Wells/Miami sweep for the second time in his career, defeating Roger Federer in the BNP Paribas Open final before seeing off Rafael Nadal in the Sony Open Tennis final. He surpassed Andre Agassi in both Masters 1000 titles (18) and Masters 1000 match wins (210) with his Miami win.
• Djokovic’s other competitive outings this year came at the Australian Open (l. to eventual champ Wawrinka in QF) and Dubai (l. to eventual champ Federer in SF).
• Djokovic finished 2013 in the top three for the seventh year in a row, winning seven titles in nine finals (2nd-most in career). He ended the year on a 24-match winning streak.
• Djokovic reached three Grand Slam finals for the third year in a row in 2013, highlighted by winning his sixth major at the Australian Open.
• Djokovic has won the last four ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events – Shanghai, Paris, Indian Wells and Miami – as well as the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Jeremy Chardy (FRA) vs [6] David Ferrer (ESP)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Ferrer leads 6-1

2006 Roland Garros (France) Clay R64 David Ferrer 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-1
2009 Johannesburg (South Africa) Hard SF Jeremy Chardy 1-6 7-6(9) 7-6(4)
2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells Hard R32 David Ferrer 3-6 6-4 6-4
2010 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Clay R64 David Ferrer 6-3 7-6(2)
2010 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass R32 David Ferrer 7-5 6-3 4-6 3-6 7-5
2014 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R32 David Ferrer 6-2 7-6(5) 6-2
2014 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Clay R32 David Ferrer 6-2 6-3

• Chardy clinched his first ever win in Monte-Carlo with a 1-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over Igor Sijsling on Sunday, despite winning three points fewer than the Dutchman.
• Chardy had fallen in the 1R in his four previous visits here.
• Chardy’s season to-date has been highlighted by a SF appearance in Brisbane (l. to Federer) and QF runs on clay in both Vina del Mar (l. to Fognini) and Buenos Aires (l. to Almagro).
• Chardy finished 2013 inside the top 50 for the fourth time in five years, reaching a personal-best world No. 25 in January after his first Grand Slam QF in Australia.
• Chardy is 7-26 lifetime against top 10 opposition and 0-4 this year. His last top 10 win came over No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro at last year’s Australian Open.
• Ferrer returns to Monte-Carlo for the 10th time. He has reached the QF here six times but his best showing came in 2011 when he advanced to the final (l. to Nadal). The Spaniard, who missed out on Monte-Carlo last year, fell in his opening match in his last appearance in 2012 (l. to Bellucci).
• Ferrer ended a seven-match losing streak in ATP finals when he defeated Fabio Fognini to clinch his third successive crown in Buenos Aires in February. The Spaniard reached the SF in Auckland (l. to Lu) and the QF in Melbourne (l. to Berdych) in January.
• On 27 February, Ferrer retired with left abductor strain at 6-2, 2-4 versus Kevin Anderson in the QF at Acapulco; he subsequently withdrew from the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells. He recovered in time to play Miami, falling to Kei Nishikori in the 4R.
• Ferrer finished the 2013 season at a year-end best No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. It was the third year in a row he finished inside the top five and also the fourth straight year in which he won at least 55 matches. The 31-year-old played an ATP-high 84 matches during the season.

COURT DES PRINCES

[Q] Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) vs Gilles Simon (FRA)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Simon leads 4-0

2006 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo Clay R64 Gilles Simon 6-4 6-2
2007 Valencia (Spain) Clay R32 Gilles Simon 4-6 6-3 6-2
2008 Rotterdam (The Netherlands) Hard QF Gilles Simon 6-3 6-2
2009 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard R16 Gilles Simon 6-1 6-2

Other Meetings:

2004 Portugal F2 (Alburfiera) Hard R32 Gilles Simon 7-6(7) 6-3

[12] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs Marcel Granollers (ESP)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Granollers leads 1-0

2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada Hard R64 M Granollers 6-4 6-4

Other Meetings:

2009 Segovia CH (Spain) Hard QF M Granollers 6-4 2-6 7-5

[14] Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs Gael Monfils (FRA)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Monfils leads 2-0

2011 Stockholm (Sweden) Hard QF Gael Monfils 7-5 7-5
2012 Bangkok (Thailand) Hard R32 Gael Monfils 6-4 2-6 7-5

[5] Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Berdych leads 7-1

2006 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard R32 Tomas Berdych 6-7 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4
2006 Mumbai (India) Hard F Dmitry Tursunov 6-3 4-6 7-6(5)
2007 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R32 Tomas Berdych 6-2 6-1 6-1
2008 ATP Masters Series Miami (U.S.A.) Hard R16 Tomas Berdych 6-2 6-2
2010 Washington (USA) Hard R32 Tomas Berdych 7-6(2) 4-6 6-1
2011 Rotterdam (The Netherlands) Hard R16 Tomas Berdych 6-4 4-6 7-5
2013 Marseille (France) Hard SF Tomas Berdych 6-2 6-1
2013 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard QF Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2

COURT 2

[16] Jerzy Janowicz (POL) vs [Q] Michael Llodra (FRA)

FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

Julien Benneteau (FRA) vs Jurgen Melzer (AUT)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Benneteau leads 5-2

2003 Stockholm (Sweden) Hard R32 Julien Benneteau 6-1 6-1
2007 ATP Masters Series Indian Wells (U.S.A.) Hard R64 Julien Benneteau 6-4 6-4
2009 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard R32 Julien Benneteau 1-6 6-3 6-3
2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) Clay R64 Jurgen Melzer 3-6 6-2 6-3
2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati Hard R32 Julien Benneteau 6-2 3-6 6-2
2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells Hard R64 Jurgen Melzer 1-6 6-1 6-4
2012 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo Clay R32 Julien Benneteau 6-4 6-3

Marin Cilic (CRO) vs Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Series tied 4-4

2007 St. Petersburg (Russia) Carpet SF F Verdasco 6-2 6-3
2008 Nottingham (Great Britain) Grass SF F Verdasco 6-3 6-1
2008 ATP Masters Series Madrid (Spain) Hard R32 Marin Cilic 6-2 6-3
2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris Hard R16 Marin Cilic 3-6 6-3 6-4
2010 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Hard R16 F Verdasco 6-4 7-6(3)
2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris Hard R64 F Verdasco 3-6 6-2 6-3
2012 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai Hard R16 Marin Cilic 4-6 6-1 6-4
2012 Valencia (Spain) Hard R16 Marin Cilic 6-1 6-4

[Q] Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) vs [15] Nicolas Almagro (ESP)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Mathieu leads 2-0

2003 Palermo (Italy) Clay R16 P M Mathieu 7-6(6) 3-6 6-3
2007 New Haven (U.S.A.) Hard R16 P M Mathieu 4-6 6-3 6-2

COURT 9

Federico Delbonis (ARG) vs Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE)

FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

[LL] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) vs Ivan Dodig (CRO)

FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

[WC] Benjamin Balleret (MON) vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

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