A few of the higher seeds take the court Tuesday in Monte Carlo. Wildcard Juan Martin Del Potro opens his clay campaign against the unpredictable shotmaker Alexandr Dolgoplov. Del Potro was a late entrant into the event after a left wrist injury cast a mid-April return in doubt. But the Argentine, who admits clay is not his favorite surface, is healthy against and playing Monte Carlo for the first time since 2009.
Local favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has high hopes of doing well. The Frenchman draws former Top 5 Nikolay Davydenko in his opener.
“It’s the most important part of the season for me, especially because I have to play a Grand Slam in my country,” said Tsonga. “I will use this period to practice a lot, to be ready for Roland Garros. For me, [playing at home] is an extra motivation, because I always like to play under pressure. I always use the crowd to help me during my matches.”
Also on Tuesday, in all French flair face-off it’s Benoit Paire against Richard Gasquet. Janko Tipsarevic meets the stylish Grigor Dimitrov and Marinko Matosevic meets Fernando Verdasco for the right to face Rafael Nadal on Wednesday.
American John Isner took a late wildcard and after winning his maiden clay title on Sunday in Houston, he’ll have to make a quick adjustment to the European red clay against Ernests Gulbis tomorrow.
Earlier today Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic posted wins while fellow seeds Gilles Simon and Andreas Seppi were upset by Roberto Bautista Agut and Fabio Fognini, respectively.
“I think it’s a very good start,” said Raonic who dusted Juliean Benneteau 6-1, 6-4. “A lot of things I did well, especially only having a limited amount of preparation before here. Davis Cup was a very good thing, but it was also a very draining thing. It takes a lot of energy to get through that weekend. So I was very happy with how I was able to prepare and play today.”
Top seeds Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Andy Murray are all scheduled for Wednesday. Djokovic will announce tomorrow is does in fact plan on playing the event or further resting his injured right ankle.
COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
 J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs G Dimitrov (BUL)
B Paire (FRA) vs  R Gasquet (FRA)
 J Tsonga (FRA) vs N Davydenko (RUS)
A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs  [WC] J Del Potro (ARG)
J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs D Bracciali (ITA) / A Seppi (ITA)
COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
M Matosevic (AUS) vs F Verdasco (ESP)
 P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [Q] P Andujar (ESP)
[WC] G Monfils (FRA) vs [Q] A Montanes (ESP)
Not Before 3:00 PM
E Gulbis (LAT) vs [WC] J Isner (USA)
 R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) vs G Simon (FRA) / M Youzhny (RUS)
Also Check Out:
Marquee Clay Schedules: Where Will Nadal, Djokovic, Federer And Murray Be Playing The Next Six Weeks
John Isner Apologizes For Loss In Houston, Calls Performance “Pathetic”
Del Potro Survives, Isner Out; Djokovic, Nadal, Murray On Court Wednesday
MUST SEE VIDEO: Watch John Isner Get Hit By A Lob And Lose The Point!!
2014 Marquee Clay Schedules: Follow Nadal, Djokovic And Federer On The Road To Roland Garros