For just the second time on the professional tour, Gael Monfils and his fellow countryman Edouard Roger-Vasselin will cross paths to determine who will advance to the following stage of the tournament. They also had a clay court encounter at a Challengers event years earlier, yet their pro head-to-head series stands at 1-0 in favour of Monfils.
Gael Monfils started his clay court season in successful fashion when he managed to reach the semi-final round of the Monte Carlo Masters, where he eventually lost to Tomas Berdych. He then followed up with a semi-final showing in Bucharest and finished with a second round loss in Madrid.
“I feel great because I think my body is getting better and better every day. I was a bit bothering with my knee. Had a lot of rehab. I just pick up the racquet maybe four days ago, four, five days ago. Maybe I miss a bit tennis, but every day it’s getting better. I have few more days. Hopefully I pass the first round and you know, just improve my game day after day, you know. In case, I hope, you know, I will rise my level if I have to the first day.”
Opposite the net from Monfils will be Roger-Vasselin, who has had a lousy clay court season heading into his potential fortnight in Paris. He lost both his opening round matches and failed to qualify for his most recent outing in Madrid. His only impressive win came against Blaz Rola in the qualifying round.
This marks the second time that Monfils and Roger-Vasselin will cross paths on the professional tour and the first time since an earlier meeting this season in Rotterdam. Monfils leads the head-to-head series 1-0 and will look to extend that further as he progresses to the second round in Paris. He even holds a clay court win against his fellow countryman on clay at a Challengers event, which should give him that extra mental edge.
Prediction: Gael Monfils in Straight Sets