After opting to rest during the Miami Open following a strong week at Indian Wells, world No. 2 Roger Federer will look to begin his clay court season with a win over Jeremy Chardy. Federer leads the head-to-head series 2-1 but also lost their only clay court encounter last year at the Rome Masters event, one of the two tournaments that Federer has not won.
The Swiss No. 1 finished runner-up at this season’s Indian Wells Masters event and then decided to skip Miami to rest and spend time with his family. He will now move on to the Monte Carlo Open, where he is a four-time finalist but has never won the title. It is just one of two events on the ATP World Tour that he has not won, the other being Rome.
“I’m feeling good about my game and my fitness,” he added. “It’s been good to work on that for the last few weeks. I came here early on Thursday to practise on Centre Court, which is something I haven’t always had the chance to do. Clearly I feel I’ve done all the right things to prepare for the clay court season now.”
He will now come up against France’s Jeremy Chardy, who defeated Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the second round of the tournament. He struck 6 aces, won 65% of his first service points and saved three break points to close out the match in one hour and 14 minutes.
The two competitors have met on three separate occasions on the professional tour, with Federer leading the head-to-head series 2-1. The Swiss star won their hard court meetings, while Chardy toppled the Grand Slam great at last year’s Rome Masters event. Federer himself admits he is better prepared for the clay court season this time around and will look to prove that is the case on Wednesday.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets
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