9:30 – Gulbis v Wawrinka
Rankings are 44 and 20. Thay haven’t met before.
Wawrinka is having a good season, especially on clay. He won the Grand Prix Hassan II event last week beating Hanescu in the final. Two days later he beat Hanescu again in the first round of this event.
Gulbis is quietly having a good year too. He won the Delray Beach event in February and reached the semi finals of the Morgan Keegan Championships in the previous week. Both those events were on hard courts and Monday’s first round match was his first clay court match of the season. It often takes players a few games to adjust to the slow surface.
If this was a hard court match then it would be a close game but Wawrinka’s confidence is sky high on clay. Often when a player wins a tournament they aren’t too bothered about the next one but Monte Carlo os one of the top events and he will be very focused.
Back Wawrinka on serve.
I’d expect him to win in straight sets.
Update: Wawrinka won 6-1, 6-4.
13:30 – Ljubicic v Llodra
Rankings are 14 and 66. Head to heads are 1-1 and they haven’t played on clay before.
Ljubicic has enjoyed a superb start to the season winning the recent BNP Paribas Open. He also reached the quarter finals in Dubai.
This is his first clay court event of 2010 although his game is quite well suited to this surface.
Llodra won the Open 13 tournament in France in February but has struggled since to get back to full fitness. He also has a decent game for clay with excellent touch around the net.
Both have very consistent serves with lots of power.
Ljubicic wins 90% of his service games to Llodra’s 79%.
Perhaps one of the key stats is that Ljubicic saves a massive 78% of break points against him.
Back Ljubicic on serve.
Ljubicic to win in 2 tight sets or maybe a 3 setter.
Ljubicic won 6-3, 7-6.