ATP Nice 2013 Draw Preview and Analysis

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Full draw here: ATP Nice 2013 Draw

One of two final warmup tournaments before the French Open, the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur is an ATP 250 event on the clay of Nice, France. The tournament last year was won by Nicolas Almagro, who chose not to compete while losing finalist Brian Baker is unable to compete due to injury.

Tomas Berdych was due to be number one seed but withdrew due to fatigue so Albert Montanes takes his second round spot as an alternate. Awaiting him is either Albert Ramos  or Victor Hanescu. Hanescu has made back to back quarter finals in his last two events. All four of the meetings between the two have been on clay, with Ramos currently leading 3-1. An all-Argentinian affair sees Carlos Berlocq play Leonardo Mayer for the second time. Berlocq won the last meeting in a Challenger in 2007, coming out on top 6-7 7-6 6-0. It will be Mayer’s first match since injury forced him to retire in Miami against Igor Sijsling. Paul-Henri Mathieu is yet to win a match on the main tour this year going 0-8 with Marcel Granollers not the ideal opponent to end the streak against. Granollers had an impressive run to the quarter finals in Rome, only to be blown away by Benoit Paire – winning just one game against the Frenchman. Granollers almost lost from 2 sets up in the 2012 French Open to Mathieu, being pegged back to 2-2 before pulling through in 5.

Sam Querrey will play the winner of an all-qualifier first round which could include Ryan Harrison, Guillaume Rufin and Sergiy Stakhovsky. In the Sunday matches, Richard Berankis shocked eighth seed Denis Istomin to book a second round tie with Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Vasselin won the first set against Alejandro Falla before the Colombian had to retire. The head to head currently stands at 1-1, with the Frenchman taking the most recent encounter at Delray Beach in straight sets.

Fabio Fognini will play a qualifier with Gael Monfils a likely second round opponent. Monfils moved down to the Challenger circuit to improve his ranking and won the title in Bordeaux, defeating Michael Llodra. Wildcard Monfils plays Santiago Giraldo who he defeated in three sets in Bangkok in their only meeting. Since winning the title in Houston, John Isner has gone 1-3 on European clay with his only win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in Madrid. He plays the winner of Marinko Matosevic and Robin Haase. The head to head currently stands at 1-1 with both players winning hard court encounters last year. Haase still has the record breaking tie break loss streak hanging over his head, currently standing at 17.

Gilles Simon rounds off the draw as the top seed in the draw after Berdych’s withdrawal. Simon will be hoping to go one better after making the semi finals last year, losing to eventual winner Nicolas Almagro. Paolo Lorenzi will face a qualifier with winner taking on Simon. Simon came from a break down in the third set to defeat Lorenzi in Indian Wells this year. Wildcard Lleyton Hewitt plays only his second match on the clay this year against Pablo Andujar. Andujar was a shock semi finalist in Madrid before losing to Nadal. Fifth seed Andreas Seppi lost for the fourth successive time to his fellow Italian Fabio Fognini and could meet him once more if both players navigate their respective quarters. Seppi will play Yen-Hsun Lu who rarely plays on the clay and has just one win since 2009.

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