Tokyo R1 previews and picks: Tsonga vs. Monfils, Monaco vs. Nieminen

An all-French affair between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils is set for Monday in Tokyo. Juan Monaco and Jarkko Nieminen are also bidding for a place in the second round.

Gael Monfils vs. (2) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Monfils and Tsonga will be meeting for the fifth time in their careers at the ATP level when they clash in round one of the Rakuten Japan Open on Monday. Tsonga leads the head-to-head series 3-1 and all four of their previous encounters have come on hard courts. They most recently faced each other early last season in the Doha title match, with Tsonga triumphing 7-5, 6-3.

The eighth-ranked Frenchman has played only one event since a second-round retirement at Wimbledon. His knee did not appear to be a huge factor in this month in Metz, but Tsonga went down to Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-3 in the final. Although Monfils has been dealing with knee issues of his own, he finished runner-up in Winston-Salem and lost to John Isner in a second-round U.S. Open thriller. The world No. 41, who is 30-18 for the year, has not dropped a first-round match since Monte-Carlo. Unless this surface is playing faster than usual, Tsonga’s rust may be exposed by too many baseline rallies.

Pick: Monfils in 3

Jarkko Nieminen vs. Juan Monaco

Nieminen and Monaco will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers and for the second time this season on Monday in Tokyo. The head-to-head series is tied up at two wins apiece, but Nieminen has won both of their previous encounters on hard courts. They most recently faced each other this spring on the clay courts of Dusseldorf, where Monaco prevailed 6-4, 6-3.

Monaco has been dealing with wrist issues of late and he has not won a match since the Winston-Salem second round. The 30th-ranked Argentine, who is in the midst of a three-match losing streak, did not attempt to defend his 2012 Kuala Lumpur title last week. Nieminen is coming off a first-round Bangkok setback against Igor Sijsling. The 32-year-old Finn is 26-22 for the season, while Monaco is a similar 25-22. Based on both the surface and Monaco’s relative slump, Nieminen should have the edge in this one.

Pick: Nieminen in 2

1 Comment on Tokyo R1 previews and picks: Tsonga vs. Monfils, Monaco vs. Nieminen

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Tokyo R1 previews and picks: Tsonga vs. Monfils, Monaco vs ... | ThisRightNow
  2. 41 v

Comments are closed.

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.