World No. 3 David Ferrer (Player Profile) will meet France’s Julien Benneteau (Player Profile) in the second round of the Valencia Open 2013 following a relatively easy opening round matches for both men. The two have had a close and competitive rivalry over the years with their head-to-head series tied at 4-4.
The top seed picked up a dominant victory over Gael Monfils in front of his fellow countrymen in Valencia, Spain. The opening round contest was a quick affair as the Spaniard won 24 of 29 points on first serve and needed only two break points to finish the match in 62 minutes. It was an impressive performance following his failed attempt to win a third title last week in Stockholm when he lost in three sets to Dimitrov. The World No. 3 is 53-19 overall in competition this year and has once again risen to No. 3 in the world.
Ferrer has already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November and is currently looking to increase his confidence and win another title heading into the year-end championships. He is also 1-9 against top 10 competition this season.
Benneteau upset Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-1 on Monday and will have the benefit of a days rest heading into tomorrow’s contest against Ferrer. His opening round match lasted one minute longer than Ferrer’s and broke a streak of opening round losses in Tokyo and Shanghai. Prior to those two tournaments, the Frenchman failed to win his elusive first ATP title several weeks back in Kuala Lumpur, putting him at 0-9 in ATP finals over his career. He has a 27-23 overall record with a 21-15 record on hard courts.
This marks the ninth time these two competitors meet on the ATP tour. Benneteau won their most recent encounter last year in Kuala Lumpur and Ferrer took their prior two meetings including a French Open victory in 2011. The Frenchman holds a 3-1 lead in hard court matches, including a 1-0 lead in indoor tournaments, which could prove to be the key stat heading into their meeting tomorrow. The World No. 3 has suffered some surprising losses in 2013 after his incredibly dominant season the year prior and a tough stylistic opponent like Benneteau could take advantage of potential errors in his game.