Oeiras first-round previews and picks: Benneteau vs. Carreno-Busta, Robredo vs. Gimeno-Traver

Veterans Julien Benneteau and Tommy Robredo will kick off their Oeiras campaigns on Tuesday. They are going up against Pablo Carreno-Busta and Daniel Gimeno-Traver, respectively.

(5) Julien Benneteau vs. (Q) Pablo Carreno-Busta

Benneteau and Carreno-Busta will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they meet in round one of the Bucharest Open on Tuesday. Carreno-Busta is already maintaining his fine form this week, as he won three qualifying matches–including one over Javier Marti 7-5 in the third on Monday. The 21-year-old Spaniard has captured seven Futures titles in 2013 (six on clay) and he reached the second round in both Casablanca and Barcelona.

On the other hand, Benneteau is struggling this year. The 33rd-ranked Frenchman has not won a match since the Marseille first round in mid-February and he is at risk of losing a French Open seed. Benneteau has contested only one clay-court match this season, which he lost to Milos Raonic 6-1, 6-4 in Monte-Carlo. Based on current form and surface, what would only be an upset on paper appears to be in the cards.

Pick: Carreno-Busta in 3

Daniel Gimeno-Traver vs. (8) Tommy Robredo

Gimeno-Traver and Robredo will be squaring off for the third time in their careers (second at the ATP level) when they do battle in the Bucharest first round. A 2009 French Open encounter went Robredo’s way 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, but Gimeno-Traver dominated a 2012 clay-court Challenger meeting 6-3, 6-2.

Robredo is enjoying a resurgence this season following an injury-plagued 2012 campaign. The 31-year-old Spaniard, who won the Casablanca title, is up to No. 38 in the world and he is coming off a quarterfinal showing in Barcelona. Gimeno-Traver, meanwhile, is just 7-11 for the year and he is 0-3 during the current clay-court swing. The world No. 52 lost his Monte-Carlo and Barcelona openers both in straight sets. Robredo may be fatigued, but he is playing with a ton of confidence and should have just enough left in the tank for this one.

Pick: Robredo in 3

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