Tuesday Preview: Djokovic, Tsonga Headline Action

• DAY 3 PREVIEW: There are 15 singles matches on Tuesday’s schedule at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters with World No. 2 and two-time champion Novak Djokovic and top Frenchman/No. 7 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga leading the way. They are two of the five second round matches and the remaining 10 first round maches will be played.

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Leading off on Court Rainier III is No. 11 seed Lucas Pouille against the lone American in the draw, Ryan Harrison, in a first-time meeting. Pouille was last year’s Most Improved Player of the Year on the ATP World Tour after jumping from No. 78 in 2015 to No. 15 in 2016. He is the No. 3 Frenchman at No. 17 in the Emirates ATP Rankings behind No. 10 Tsonga and No. 16 Gael Monfils. Harrison is playing in Monte-Carlo for the first time and the 24-year-old American is also playing his first tournament since getting married to Lauren McHale on Mar. 31 in Austin, Texas. Harrison captured his first ATP World Tour singles title in Memphis in February and he is one of six Americans in the Top 50 Emirates ATP Rankings.

In the next match on, French qualifier Adrian Mannarino takes on countryman Tsonga, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Monday. In their previous meeting at 2014 ATP Masters 1000 Miami, Tsonga won 62 64 in the 2R. Mannarino is 1-18 lifetime against Top 10 opponents with his lone win coming over No. 8 Stan Wawrinka in Miami two years ago. Tsonga is off to a career-best 17-4 start with indoor titles in Rotterdam and Marseille. He is a two-time semi-finalist (2013, 2016) here and this is Tsonga’s first match since Mar. 11 when he lost in his opening round match to Fabio Fognini at ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells. He became a father for the first time with the birth of his son, Shugar, born on March 18.

In the third match on, Djokovic brings a 10-1 head-to-head record against Gilles Simon, who won the first meeting in 2008 Marseille but has lost the last 10 matches to the Serb. This is their first meeting on clay. Djokovic won the Monte-Carlo title in 2013 and 2015 and comes in with a 28-8 tournament record. Djokovic’s last tournament was in Indian Wells where he lost to Nick Kyrgios in the 4R on Mar. 15. He withdrew from Miami due to an elbow injury but returned on April 7 for Serbia’s Davis Cup tie vs. Spain. He defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets.

In the final match on, Nicolas Almagro takes a 3-1 head-to-head advantage against No. 10 seed David Goffin, who notched his 20th match of the season on Sunday. Goffin won the last meeting in five sets in the 3R at Roland Garros last year. Almagro is trying to reach the 3R for the fifth time.

On Court Des Princes, there are two players with protected rankings in the first two matches: Tommy Robredo and Tommy Haas. Both are former quarter-finalists, in 2006 and 2002, respectively. Robredo opens against Gilles Muller and Haas takes on Benoit Paire. In the third match on, wild cards Borna Coric and Jeremy Chardy play each other for the third time (tied 1-1). The #NextGenATP Coric won his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday in Marrakech (d. Kohlschreiber). In the lone second round match on this court, Joao Sousa of Portugal leads 3-1 in the head-to-head against No. 16 seed Pablo Cuevas.

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