After meeting for the first time on the professional tour last year in Rotterdam, defending champion Juan Martin del Potro and France’s Gael Monfils will meet for second time in the opening round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The Del Potro v Monfils head-to-head record stands at 1-0.
Following a disappointing second round exit from the Australian Open, top seed Juan Martin del Potro is back in action and will be looking to defend his title and ranking points. Del Potro only confirmed his participation in the Rotterdam Open a few days ahead of the start of the tournament, as the Argentine was in the USA receiving treatment on his wrist, which he injured ahead of the Australian Open. The decision to take part in the tournament came when his doctor gave him the necessary feedback to build up his confidence.
“But my doctor has given me the confidence to play here in Rotterdam and, as the defending champion I feel that it is the right decision.”
The world No. 4 does not believe that the injury will hinder his performances throughout the year as his wrist did back in 2009-10. He is confident that he will remain in the Top 5 and will even attempt to break into the Top 3 over the next few months.
“I am positive. I would like to remain in the Top 5 [of the Emirates ATP Rankings] and potentially rise into the Top 3. It will be difficult to pass Rafa [Nadal], [Novak] Djokovic and [Stanislas] Wawrinka, particularly after his recent Australian Open win. But I’m not the only one in the Top 10 who has a lot of points to defend.”
Gael Monfils won his fifth career ATP World Tour Title last Sunday afternoon in Montpellier, when he defeated fellow countryman and world No. 9 Richard Gasquet in straight sets. It marks the second time Monfils lifted the Montpellier title, after beating Ivan Ljubicic four years ago in a three-set final. He will now be looking to carry forth the momentum to Rotterdam, where he faces defending champion Juan Martin del Potro in the opening round. With the Argentine recovering from a wrist injury, this may be the perfect opportunity for the Frenchman to strike.
The only time these two competitors have clashed previously on the professional tour was in Rotterdam, in what was also an opening round match. Del Potro won that encounter 6-3, 6-4 in a relatively straightforward contest. This is unlikely to be the case this year, as the Argentine is not in peak condition following his wrist injury, while Monfils is coming off an outstanding week of tennis. The Frenchman should manage to snatch a set and will likely push Del Potro to his limits. Whether he will respond emphatically is yet to be seen.
You can also check out their the players stats Here: Del Potro Monfils Head to head
Prediction: Juan Martin del Potro in Three Sets