Monday Preview: Berdych, Zverev In Action
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DAY 2 PREVIEW: No. 9 seed and 2015 finalist Tomas Berdych is among the six seeds in first-round action on Monday at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Other seeds on the schedule are: No. 12 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 13 Pablo Carreno Busta, No. 14 #NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev, No. 15 Albert Ramos-Vinolas and No. 16 Pablo Cuevas.
Leading off on Court Rainier III is Serbian No. 2 Viktor Troicki, who brings a 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record (all on hard courts) against Cuevas. Troicki’s best Monte-Carlo finish in seven previous appearances was the quarter-finals in 2011. Last month Cuevas won his third straight title in Sao Paulo (d. Ramos-Vinolas) and reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final in Indian Wells (d. Goffin, l. to Carreno Busta in third set TB).
In the next match on, Zverev and Italian wild card Andreas Seppi meet for the first time. Zverev leads the Emirates ATP Race to Milan standings and captured his second career ATP World Tour title in Montpellier (d. Gasquet) in February. Seppi is looking to pick up his 10th career match win in Monte-Carlo (9-10) and he’s playing here for the 11th time in 12 years (except 2011).
In the third match on, Carreno Busta attempts to remain unbeaten (4-0) against top Italian Fabio Fognini. The Spaniard won earlier this year in the quarter-finals of Sao Paulo in straight sets.Carreno Busta broke into the Top 20 Emirates ATP Rankings on Mar. 20 after his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final showing in Indian Wells (l. to Wawrinka). Fognini, who reached the semi-finals here in 2013 and is playing in Monte-Carlo for the ninth straight year, advanced to his second ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in Miami (l. to Nadal).
In the final match on, Berdych plays Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov for the second time. In St. Petersburg, last September, Berdych prevailed in a third set tie-break. Berdych is making his ninth straight appearance here and 13th in the past 14 years (except 2008). Kuznetsov is looking for his first main draw match win in Monte-Carlo (0-2).
On Court Des Princes, Bautista Agut meets Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia for the second time. The Spaniard won the preivous meeting in straight sets in the 3R at 2015 Wimbledon. Next up is a first-tme ATP World Tour meeting between British No. 2 Daniel Evans (ranked No. 44) and British No. 3 Kyle Edmund (ranked No. 45). Both players are making their Monte-Carlo debut. In the third match on, Novak Djokovic makes his first doubles showing in Monte-Carlo since 2010 (w/Troicki) as they take on Gilles Muller and Gilles Simon. In the final match on, Argentine qualifier Renzo Olivo makes his Monte-Carlo debut in a first-time meeting with Ramos-Vinolas.