A very sparse OOP in Noumea for Tuesday (unless you count doubles, which I totally don’t) (kidding!) (about the doubles, not the spareness).  If I had the kind of forecast they have, I’d be making people play multiple rounds today.  I guess that’s why I’m not a tournament director – which I’m sure is for the better, as it would likely result in player mutiny and violent overthrow. All for the best.  Anyway, here’s a look at Tuesday’s matches, which are the only remaining first rounds to be played:

Igor Sijsling vs. Augustin Gensse: a first ever meeting between the top-seeded Dutchman and the 27 year-old Frenchie.  Sijsling ended the year on one of the better tears on tour, winning the Eckental Challenger then reaching the finals in Aachen before Dustin Brown halted his 9-match winning streak.  This will be his first pro match since that run in late November.  Gensse, meanwhile, had an amazing 72/21 season that saw him claim SEVEN Futures titles and reach the semis of the Palermo Challenger, pushing his ranking up from #578 into the Top 200.  So I would be very densse were I to write off his chances.  Will be an interesting one, for sure.

Igor Sijsling Dutching it up with pal Thiemo de Bakker

Freddie Nielsen vs. Kevin Kim: First meeting for these guys as well.  Two challenger tour veterans whose seasons (and possibly careers) took different trajectories at the end of last year. 2010 saw the 32 year-old Kim lose his final six matches of the year on the way to a 29/37 campaign.  The 27 year-old Dane, meanwhile, ended the year with a run to the finals of Loughborough (where he lost to the then-torrid Matthias Bachinger) and a 46/26 record.  All trends point to Nielsen getting through this one.

Florian Reynet vs. Jesse Huta Galung: Yet another first meeting.  Though Huta is ranked more than 150 spots higher than his 24 year-old French opponent (#128 to #286), Reynet did have a pretty good season on the French and Moroccan Futures circuits, racking up a more-than-respectable 55/21 record last year.  Still think the 25 year-old Dutchman will have too much game in this contest.

Laurent Recouderc vs. Ivo Klec: the 30 year-old Slovakian (Klec) won their only previous meeting almost eight years ago, so expect him to come through here.  Heh.  Not really.  Recouderc is four years younger, and 39 spots ranking-higher.  Edge to the Frenchman?  Wait!  Klec finished his season on a 10 match win streak, taking consecutive Sudan Futures titles at the end of the year.  Well, now I just don’t know what to think.

So I hope and trust that you’re all greatly enriched by the above information.  And if you’re not, well don’t worry; these matches, like the ones in Sao Paulo, might not even be played anyway.