Rafael Nadal vs. Carlos Berlocq
Maybe I was being a bit harsh in my pick after looking at these highlights
This is a mismatch. I know saying that about Rafa on clay is trite, but Berlocq’s game (which I love) is predicated on running, scrambling, grinding out points etc. He is not going to be able to do that often enough to really bother Rafa. Nadal will be relaxed knowing this and will likely play quite commanding tennis. Berlocq’s serve and shots are not big enough to really bother Rafa. Unless Rafa has an error prone outing, expect this one to go quickly.
My Prediction: Rafael Nadal d. Carlos Berlocq 6-2, 6-2
Nicolas Almagro vs. Juan Monaco
This should be a nice match. I think Almagro has enough firepower to be favored, but Monaco is playing on home soil and is upset with some Davis Cup selections. I am therefore torn. Almagro has superior weapons, but Monaco is a more reliable competitor with a lot of motivation. In this case, I will give an edge to the Argentine.
My Prediction: Juan Monaco d. Nicolas Almagro 3-6, 7-5, 6-3