ATP Monte-Carlo 2nd Round Predictions: Del Potro-Dolgopolov, Tsonga-Davydenko

Today’s action saw two seeds falls at the first hurdle; Gilles Simon rather surprisingly fell to to Roberto Bautista-Agut who continued his great year to date with a 6-3 7-6(6) upset win.  Andreas Seppi also lost, to Fabio Fognini having won the opening set, 3-6 6-4 6-4.  Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic were two seeds that did make it into the second round, which kicks off tomorrow along with the remainder of the first round matches…
1. Juan Martin del Potro v Alexandr Dolgopolov
Juan Martin del Potro
The world number 7, Juan Martin del Potro has taken a late wildcard into Monte-Carlo, a tournament he has yet to post a main draw win in and not played since 2009.  His first match will be against the engima that is, Alexandr Dolgopolov, who defeated Bernard Tomic in straight sets, 6-2 6-4, in his first match on Sunday.  The Ukranian has had a disappointing season up till now with just two quarter-final appearances in Brisbane and Memphis to his name.  Del Potro is likely to be vulnerable in this match, which will be his first on the clay in 2013.  In Del Potro’s favour will be a 3-0 head-to-head record over Dolgopolov and I fancy him to make it 4-0, overcoming a sticky opening set against Dolgo.

Prediction – Del Potro to beat Dolgopolov in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)
2. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Nikolay Davydenko
French hopes in Monte-Carlo will lie with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who opens his account against Nikolay Davydenko tomorrow.  Davydenko won his first round match against the qualifier Daniel Brands, 6-3 6-4 and will face Tsonga for the second time this year.  Tsonga prevailed when they played in Marseille in a tight two setter, 7-6(1) 6-3.  Davydenko has beaten Tsonga twice before in 2007 and 2008 and this will be their first clay court encounter, which is Tsonga’s weakest surface.  I still fancy Tsonga to win this one…
Prediction – Tsonga to beat Davydenko in 2 very tight sets

3. Janko Tipsarevic v Grigor Dimitrov
Janko Tipsarevic faces a testing opener against the improving, Grigor Dimitrov in the opening match on Court Central for Tuesday.  Dimitrov eased past Xavier Malisse in his opener on Sunday, 6-3 6-2.  Dimitrov had both Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on the ropes in third round matches at Indian Wells and Miami respectively; however when serving for the first set in both matches, he succumbed under the pressure.  Tipsarevic holds a 3-0 head-to-head lead over Dimitrov although like the last match-up between Tsonga and Davydenko, this will be their first match on the clay.  This will be a close one, but I hate to say that I think Tipsy to edge it…
Prediction – Tipsarevic to beat Dimitrov in 3 sets 
Best of the rest: 2nd round predictions
Richard Gasquet to beat Benoit Paire in 2 sets
Philipp Kohlschreiber to beat Pablo Andujar in 3 sets 

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