Bernard Tomic will once again attempt to continue his road to recovery on the ATP tour, this time in Nice, where he will meet surging Slovakian Martin Klizan in a stiff opening round encounter. This marks just the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Tomic leading the head-to-head series 1-0 with a victory last season.
Australia’s Bernard Tomic has played only one tournament main draw since his first round withdrawal against Nadal at the Australian Open, as the youngster underwent double hip surgery shortly afterwards. He would later attempt to make an embarrassing comeback in Miami, where he lost in a record 26-minute. Since his absence, he has dropped to no. 81 in the rankings, behind Lleyton Hewitt, Matt Ebden and Marinko Matosevic. He did not even manage to enter the main draw in Madrid, as he lost in the qualifying round.
Tomic’s run in Nice will be a tough one, as the draw is full of tough opposition early on. If he defeats Klizan, he will come up against Ernests Gulbis, the Latvian No. 1 who has become a dangerous player for any top competitor on the tour.
Martin Klizan is coming off a recent ATP World Tour title win in Munich, where he defeated German No. 1 Tommy Haas and Italian No. 1 Fabio Fognini in consecutive fashion. He also picked up wins over Denis Istomin and Mikhail Youzhny in the draw. He will look to carry forth that momentum and defeat the former top ranked Australian on Tuesday afternoon.
This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Tomic leading the series 1-0. While that may be the case, Tomic’s victory took place on hard court and in 2013, which was prior to his double hip surgery. He is neither fully recovered and is now facing an opponent riding a significant wave of momentum. While the Australian may put up a valiant effort, I expect Klizan to advance to the second round.
Prediction: Martin Klizan in Three Sets