An all-French encounter between Julien Benneteau and Benoit Paire is schedueled to take place in the first round of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York. This is just the second time these two athletes will meet on the professional tour, with Paire leading the Head to Head 1-0 with a victory last year in Rome.
Benneteau began his US Open Series with a surprising run at the Rogers Cup event in Toronto this season, as he upset Lleyton Hewitt in the opening round before a second upset over Ernests Gulbis. He would lose to Milos Raonic in the following round but not without pushing the match to a deciding set. He would then follow up with an even stronger showing at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, where he defeated the likes of James Ward, Jerzy Janowicz and Stan Wawrinka before losing to David Ferrer in his first Masters 1000 semi-final.
While he appeared to be in good form during the qualifying rounds, Benoit Paire lost in the second round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the opening round in Cincinanti, after strong wins in the qualifying round against the likes of Alexander Zverev and James Duckworth. He then followed up with another opening round loss in Winston-Salem to Robin Haase.
This is just the second time that these two countrymen will cross paths on the professional tour and their first time in over a year. Benneteau lost the first encounter in a tight three-set battle that ended in a deciding tiebreak, but considering he appears to be having a sort of resurgence on hard court, he is a deserving favourite for the rematch this time around against Paire.
Prediction: Julien Benneteau in Four Sets