World number 68 Gilles Simon will take on the 99th-ranked Pedro Martinez in the first round of the 2021 Parma Open on Monday, May 24. Get the live streaming options of this Gilles Simon v Pedro Martinez match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Gilles Simon v Pedro Martinez Head to Head
Simon and Martinez have never faced off against each other in a competitive match before this.
Simon’s Poor Form Continues to Haunt
While clay has never been Simon’s favourite surface, he has won titles on it in the past and he has also done well enough in hard court tennis. This year has been quite different for the Frenchman, and at 36 years of age it will be a wonder if he can turn things around.
Experience is on his side but what’s not is his record in 2021. He has played nine matches this season and won just two, losing the last four matches in a row as well. On clay, Simon has played five matches and lost four of them – first round losses at Barcelona, Estoril and Lyon not helping his cause.
What would be upsetting three of those last four defeats came in straight sets with Simon finishing a 6-2, 6-3 loser to Aljaz Bedene in Lyon.
This follows from another underwhelming clay court season last, where Simon struggled to even win qualifiers – he lost five and won just one on this surface in 2020 with that win coming only in a qualifying round.
For a player who has won clay court titles in the past, it’s been a strange turn of events and unless he can start winning quickly enough, Simon could well be looking to walk into the sunset.
Martinez Struggles Past Bonzi
Spain’s qualifier Martinez did not have much of a problem getting past his opening qualifying round against Francesco Passaro but was then taken to the task by Benjamin Bonzi in the second.
After clinching the first set, the 99th-ranked Martinez then dropped his serve while serving to stay in the second set at 5-6. In a fluctuating third set, Martinez first went 0-3 down, then broke back twice to take a 5-3 lead only to lose his serve as he prepared to serve for the match.
The ensuing tie-breaker turned out to be a one-sided affair but not before Martinez had frittered away three match-points before converting on the fourth.
Martinez had earlier made the third round at the Australian Open as his best performance of the season but has since then won just one main draw match. It does even things out a tad but will that be enough for the Spaniard?
Simon v Martinez Prediction and Tip
Simon is a higher-ranked player but as far as form is concerned, Martinez holds the edge. A three-setter looks likely for a change from Simon’s racquet.