French Open R3 previews: Monfils vs. Robredo, Tsonga vs. Chardy

Gael Monfils will try to continue his Roland Garros run when he takes the court against Tommy Robredo on Friday. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jeremy Chardy are also bidding for a place in the fourth round.

(WC) Gael Monfils vs. (32) Tommy Robredo

Monfils and Robredo will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers and for the first time in six years when they collide in the third round of the French Open on Friday. Robredo leads the head-to-head series 2-1, and it is tied up at one win apiece on clay. The Spaniard led by a set and a break before getting a retirement from his opponent at the 2005 Bastad event, then Monfils scored a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory two seasons later on the slow stuff in Stuttgart.

It’s safe to say that the story of Roland Garros so far has been Monfils. The oft-injured Frenchman finally rounded back into form with a recent title at the Bordeaux Challenger followed by a runner-up finish in Nice, and he has picked up even more momentum in Paris. Dealt a brutal draw, Monfils upset Tomas Berdych 7-6(8), 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-7(4), 7-5 and overcame Ernests Gulbis 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2 on Wednesday. Robredo has been in resurgent form this whole season. The 31-year-old boasts a 19-11 record, which includes a title in Casablanca, a semifinal in Buenos Aires, and two additional clay-court quarterfinals (Barcelona and Oeiras). So far this fortnight Robredo has taken Jurgen Zopp and Igor Sijsling–the latter whom he stormed back to defeat from two sets down.

Two consecutive difficult matches do not help Monfils’ cause, but he rebounded impressively after the war against Berdych and should be able to do the same from a tough but less taxing encounter with Gulbis. Robredo, meanwhile, cannot afford another disastrous start because this opponent–and the French crowd–feeds off momentum and will be tough to stop if and when he snags a lead. Neither Berdych nor Gulbis was able to hit through Monfils’ clay-court defense, indicating that a counter-puncher like Robredo will have no chance of doing so.  If the world No. 81 does not go for too much too early in points, he will have more than enough firepower to  continue his run.

Pick: Monfils in 4

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

Tsonga and Chardy will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers on Friday. The two Frenchmen 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, so this is not a case of a vulnerable favorite like we saw Down Under with Juan Martin Del Potro–who went down in flames to Chardy in the third round. Based on current form, history at this event, and simply sheer talent, a major edge goes to Tsonga.

Pick: Tsonga in 3

in the same Rolex Cellini Replica style as the team replica watches. I find the engraving far more satisfying, but would have liked to see a bit more depth to it. There is a little more branding on the PRC200. Firstly, Burberry handbags the 6 oclock sub-dial sports a basketball image in grey. Additionally, the pushers are edged with red (top) and blue (bottom), Breitling Replica Watches UK which is, to me, the coolest thing.
Skip to toolbar