Towering South African Kevin Anderson and flashy Frenchman Gael Monfils will meet in the opening round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Tuesday afternoon to determine the competitors who will advance to the following round. Anderson is yet to ever defeat Monfils, who holds a 2-0 record in the head-to-head series.
World No. 19 Kevin Anderson has enjoyed a relatively successful season on the tour, as he reached two consecutive finals in Delray Beach and Acapulco, but lost both matches to Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov respectively. The losses brought him to a 2-6 record in ATP World Tour finals, as he has been unable to lift a title since 2012. He followed up with a quarter-final showing at Indian Wells, where he lost to Roger Federer but is now coming off a surprise second round exit to Victor Hanescu in Casablanca. He was the top seed and favourite to win the title that week.
World No. 24 Gael Monfils began his season with two losses to Rafael Nadal, first in the finals in Doha, then in the third round of the Australian Open. He also joined the French Davis Cup team in their 5-0 victory against Australia in January. Following a relatively strong month of March, where he lost in the third round at Indian Wells and the second round in Miami, Monfils played the role of the French saviour, as he helped his team recover from a 0-2 deficit against the depleted German team.
This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Monfils leading the series 2-0. This will be their first ever meeting on clay, which is a surface that Monfils prefers over Anderson. While this has the potential to be a tough match, it is likely that the Frenchman will manage a straight sets victory to reach the second round.
Prediction: Gael Monfils in Straight Sets