Three to See, Monte Carlo: Djokovic takes on Simon; Haas plays Paire

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Djokovic has won 10 of 11 matches against Simon in his career. (AP)

Each day before play at the Monte-Carlo Masters, we’ll preview and predict three must-see matches.

Lucas Pouille [11] vs. Ryan Harrison

With the U.S. Davis Cup team running on fumes in Houston, Harrison is the only American in the Monte Carlo draw. He’s never faced Pouille, but the surface (clay), their rankings (Pouille is 17th; Harrison is 50th) and their games (Pouille has more firepower) point to a win by the Frenchman in the day’s opening match on the stadium court.

Winner: Pouille

Benoit Paire vs. Tommy Haas [PR]

There may be testiness. Paire has been on a racquet-throwing, ball-smashing roll of late, and while the 39-year-old Haas has mellowed, he’s still competitive enough to get irritated when he doesn’t live up to his former standards. These two were supposed to meet at the Australian Open, but Haas was forced to retire. Let’s hope we see a (probable) last glimpse of his stylish game in the capital of tennis style on Tuesday.

Winner: Paire

Novak Djokovic [2] vs. Gilles Simon

The late-afternoon showcase features the world No. 2 vs. the world No. 32. No. 2 has won 10 of their 11 career matches, but the last one, at the Australian Open in 2016, went five sets. Simon frustrated Djokovic into 100 unforced errors on hard courts that day. Can he do something similar on clay? We’ll find out; these two veterans have never met on dirt.

Winner: Djokovic

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