Sixth seed David Ferrer has not lost in the first round of Monte Carlo since 2003 and that streak is set to continue as he faces Jeremy Chardy for the second time in 2014 in the second round.
Watch Ferrer v Chardy live:
Despite an injury sustained in Acapulco, it’s been an excellent first quarter of the season for the iron man of tennis, David Ferrer, now down to world no. 6 after starting the year at no. 3: one title in Buenos Aires (ending Fabio Fognini’s clay-court reign), semifinals in Auckland and at the Rio Open, quarterfinals in Acapulco and at the Australian Open and the round of 16 in Miami.
There have been a few surprising defeats sprinkled among those achievements – to Daniel Brands in Doha, Yen-Hsun Lu in Auckland, and a forced retirement when trailing 2-6, 4-6 to Alexandr Dolgopolov in Acapulco – and the 32-year-old Ferrer has said that he is starting to feel his years, but it would be a brave pundit indeed who would underestimate Ferrer as we head into the European clay-court season, in which the world no. 6 reached the finals at Oeiras (losing to Stanislas Wawrinka) and Roland Garros (losing to – who else? – Rafael Nadal), stopped short in the quarterfinals of Rome and Madrid by Nadal again.
There are, consequently, lots of points to defend for Ferrer, but none in Monte Carlo, which he skipped last year. Drawn into Rafael Nadal’s quarter, nobody would expect Ferrer’s quest to go further than that stage and he could have to contend with Grigor Dimitrov to get there, but the sixth seed has a second-round opponent in Jeremy Chardy who he should be able to get by easily.
Ferrer leads the head-to-head with world no. 48 Chardy 6-1 overall and 3-0 on clay, with the solitary loss to the rangy French player coming back in 2009 on the hard courts of Johannesburg, and there’s no particular reason to believe anything will change at this year’s Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Chardy reached the semifinals of Brisbane back in January and the quarterfinals at Vina del Mar and Buenos Aires, but he hasn’t shown any signs of the kind of form that will unseat the world no. 6 when he gets his feet back on the clay.
Chardy, whose career high of world no. 25 came back in January 2013, is 0-4 in Monte Carlo, losing in the first round in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 and it looks like that streak is going to continue.
Chardy and Ferrer are scheduled on Centre Court at 4pm (3pm)